3 do’s and 6 don’ts for powerful scrutinies

9 thoughts on “3 do’s and 6 don’ts for powerful scrutinies”

  1. Nick, excellent. Regarding your first Don’t, my opinion is that the best solution is to use the RCIA ritual book. Creating your own version of any Rite in a “Ceremonial Binder” is a temptation to write, rewrite and create your own liturgy. Suggestions for the presider can be provided by a simple outline included in the book (with lift-off tape!).

  2. Hi Nick-
    the Rituals of the RCIA in Lent and especially the scrutinies are a very frustrating time of the year. I actually had some older parishioners come up to me on Sunday after Mass and say how much they hated the 2nd Scrutiny- “It was disgusting and looked like Father was marrying all those men and it took far too long.” One thing that is done at my parish is one Scrutiny is celebrated at a different Mass each week as a ‘teachable’ moment for the parishioners. Same with Dismissal – a different Mass each week. It’s difficult for the Elect and it obviously has not ‘taught’ the parishioners anything. I’ve put articles in the bulletin about the rituals, I’ve given announcements before Mass begins about the rituals, but they are so poorly celebrated that they appear to be an inconvenient add-on. Help!

  3. Nick, despite doing none of the 6 ‘Do Not’s’the scrutinies felt a little stale to me but to one of our parish candidates they have, so far, been a powerful experience. He spoke of how good it felt to be part of the assembly praying for those who have become friends and how the words made sense when referring to the Elect…so maybe we are getting something right.

  4. Hi Nick,

    This past Sunday at the second scrutiny we had a retired priest who helps out when needed. We didn’t do the laying on of hands but the priest asked the entire church to raise their hands as if over the catechumens while he read the prayers. It involved everyone, therefore calling attention to the scrutiny and didn’t take “longer”. I did not receive any feedback as most of the church was concentrating on the 1st of the 2 Confirmation Masses which were to begin shortly after our Mass ended.

  5. Since the scrutinies are done by the priest we have little input to what or how it is done. But it seemed to work but I’m not sure anyone really understands them.

  6. Scruitinies are a delegate rite. I’m not sure our “cradle catholic’s” even know what they are. I had none to do this year, but next year could be a different story. When you say they should be done during a daily Mass, how can this be? Our people work and cannot go to Mass on a daily basis as our Mass is at 8:30 am?? We need to have our Priest’s trained in this area. Some of them do not realize the importance.

  7. Sister Ruth, S.S.N.D.

    Dear Nick and R.C.I.A. Team,

    It is my pleasure to read that you desire an awareness about the power of the scrutinies.
    The prayers are so powerful. At rehersal Father said the prayers aloud. Their was a reaction that at the next meetng I spoke about the scrutinies.
    Now,I speak from the CollaborativeMinistry/Lent/scrutiny material, before the Rites of the Scrutinies. Some people, I found are more ready than others, that is OK. I work with them through the following years.
    All in God’s good time.
    Blessings!
    Sister Ruth

  8. Nick, Very good article. I want to point out one small thing, not as a correction, but as a point that could help others. The instructions for the Presentations say they should be held “during the week…”. It does not specifically say at Mass, unlike the Scrutinies. I mention this because some parishes may have the same issue as we do. Our daily Mass is at 7:45 AM. Many of our catechumens would not be able to attend a daily Mass because of work schedules. We hold our Presentations at our Stations of the Cross on the Fridays of the weeks listed in the Rite. This is still a large gathering of our parish (about 600 people attend each week) and it’s in the evening when the catechumens are able to attend.

    I would like to hear your constructive thoughts on this.

    1. Hi Craig. Thanks for sharing this. You are quite right. There is no requirement that the presentions be celebrated at a Mass. Your solution sounds good to me!

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