What is a "scutiny"?

Can you some explain what a “scrutiny” is?

What’s the significance of it?

I just wrote the answer to this in our bulletin:

“Answer to last week’s question: On the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent we celebrate the Scrutinies at the 10:30 Mass. What is a scrutiny? The final weeks before Easter are times of intense preparation for those who will be baptized and received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. In the ancient Church, this was a time when the lifestyle of the baptismal candidate was closely examined and prayers were said over them to free them from the grasp of Satan. Since the reintroduction of Rite of Christian Initiation in 1988, the scrutinies are “meant to uncover then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect; to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong, and good. They are celebrated in order to deliver the elect from the power of sin and Satan, to protect them against temptation, and to give them strength in Christ.” (RCIA #141) The scrutinies consist of intercessions that are focused on the Elect and a prayer of exorcism”.

Thank you. That’s really interesting.

It’s sad, though, because I went through RCIA only two years ago myself, but I must have slept through most of it because I really don’t remember ever learning about the scrutinies so much as showing up at Mass and receiving special attention. :o

A Scrutiny is a call to a person seeking Baptism to look inwardly at themselves and assess if they are ready spiritually to become a Christian through Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion.

Were you a candidate for baptism? Only those going to be baptized go through the scrutinies.

Only those who are the Elect, those who will receive all three Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion participate in these scrutinies. So if you were an already Baptized Candidate you would not have participated.

There is an optional Scrutiny for the Candidates which we celebrate the 2nd Sunday of Lent. See paragraphs 459-463 in the White Book [The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults].

This is interesting because I am the Sponsor of a Candidate. We (Sponsors, Candidates and Elects) are supposed to attend all three scrutinies.

Candidates do not participate, so whomever is making you do so is wrong. As a previous poster noted, there is a Penetential Rite, not actually a scrutiny and excorism, that candidates “CAN” go though on the second Sunday of Lent, but it is optional. It sounds like your RCIA coordinator needs a course in the RCIA.

This optional Penitential Rite is not a “Combined Rite” it is to be held separated from the Scrutiny for the Elect.

Unfortunately, in my case, our entire diocese needs that same course. Here is the other problem. Adult Catholics who have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation (but have received the Sacrament of Holy Communion) are also lumped into RCIA. It’s turned into a hodge-podge. At least my pastor is doing it right! :thumbsup: We may disagree on music and such, but, he is following the procedure as far as RCIA is concerned. We have an entire family who are Elect.

Tomorrow is the first scrutiny. I’m not apprehensive about it; my mind is made up. I’m just worried about what will happen.

Thanks for the tutorial, Joannm. :slight_smile:

The 6pm Vigil Mass at our Cathedral was the First Mass of Scrutiny. I had never been to one before and was very impressed. The Bishop, as usual, gave a wonderful homily weaving the lessons we are taught in the Readings of the Mass into a beautiful tapestry of the reality of today for all the Elect present and for all of us who are ready to welcome them into our Catholic family. After the homily, the Elect [there were 37 in all, of different ages, although the majority were young adults, and there were two elderly men]. were called to the steps at the foot of the Sanctuary in front of the altar. They stood in two lines, three deep, on either side of the Bishop. It was very moving as he laid his hands on the heads of the elect. As he was doing this, the bright light of the setting sun burst through the enormous stained glass windows high up at the back of the apse and bathed the Bishop and the Elect in a rainbow of colours. It was probably only because of the time of day but I prefer to think that it was a sign of God’s pleasure and blessing. I do know that it brought tears to my eyes and to many of those seated near me.

The reason why these three sacraments ( Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation ) are “often” bundled into a thrice sacramental hodge-podge for R.C.I.A. candidates are for reasons of (“expedience”) only. How often do you see adult R.C.I.A. candidates receive the sacrament of confirmation at our parish communities traditionally dispensed by a Bishop ?

But, if you re-read my post, I was noting the fact that Bapitzed Catholics who have not received the other two sacraments (or, at the very least, Confirmation) are all lumped together. When we had a cluster Confirmation Mass at the Cathedral, there were some adults.

One thing that did trouble me during yesterday’s scrunity is that the DRE was encouraging everyone to raise their hands as the Elect were sent forth. She was up on the ambo and my parochial vicar did not see her. He and I both have concerns about this since the laity are not supposed to be mimicking any sort of action that the priest does during the Mass. He did preach an excellent homily, though. :thumbsup:

Note this thrice sacramental hodge-podge is mandated by Caon Law

Can. 866 Unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, an adult who is baptized is to be confirmed immediately after baptism and is to participate in the eucharistic celebration also by receiving communion

Canon 866 is part of the 1983 New Canon Law. Again as I stated before it is done out of expedience. The 1917 Canon Law makes no reference to this.
In an increasing number of R.C.I.A. candidates that I have talked to after they were sacramentally baptised, confirmed, and and received Holy communion (Never) received the sacrament of Penance until after the Easter Vigil on a later date. Why ?

This is because Baptism not only removes the stain of original sin, but, any other sin they have committed throughout their lives. Thus, having been freed from sin, they do not need to go to confession as of yet, until after, unfortunately, they have sinned.

When you state that the sacrament of Baptism “removes” (“Any other sin they have committed throughout their lives.”)
Does that include mortal sins ? " murder, rape, incest, and a long list of others ?
No disrespect but I certainly didn’t think that converts could have the slates of their souls washed clean and excused so easily. Never have I once heard that Baptism washes away (“all”) sins. Perhaps benedictgal you could supply official quotes from Canon Law or the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the complete absolution of “all” sins for R.C.I.A. converts who have never received the Sacrament of Penance.

Do you believe in the power of Baptism? I will leave it to the resident poster who can more easily bring up citations (besides I don’t have my resources here at home and I don’t have time to do a web search right now), but from the very beginning of Christianity, baptism wiped away ALL sin. That is simply dogma of the Church and the very purpose of Baptism. We enter the waters of baptism as sinners and come out “white as snow.” Prior confession of sins was never a part of preparation for baptism as it was expected that in choosing to be baptized you were totally giving up your old way of life.

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