RCIA 146: Scrutinies Within The Ritual Mass

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Some liturgical business to wrap up the scrutinies:

146. The scrutinies should take place within the ritual Masses “Christian Initiation: The Scrutinies,” which are celebrated on the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent; the readings with their chants are those given for these Sundays on the Lectionary for Mass, Year A. When, for pastoral reasons, these ritual Masses cannot be celebrated on their proper Sundays, they are celebrated on other Sundays of Lent or even convenient days during the week.

When, because of unusual circumstances and pastoral needs, the period of purification and enlightenment takes place outside Lent, the scrutinies are celebrated on Sundays and even on weekdays, with the usual intervals between celebrations. They are not celebrated on solemnities of the liturgical year. (see RCIA 30)

In every case the ritual Masses “Christian Initiation: The Scrutinies”are celebrated and in this sequence: for the first scrutiny the Mass with the gospel of the Samaritan woman; for the second, the Mass with the gospel of the man born blind; for the third, the Mass with the gospel of Lazarus.

Many pastors are reticent about using the cycle A readings every Lent. The RCIA however, seems to present these three gospel stories as essential to the liturgical observance of the scrutinies. The Church would never mandate them, aware that pastoral situations are many in which a case could be made for using the regular B and C cycle readings. But the reason for not using them really needs to be significant.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, RCIA, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to RCIA 146: Scrutinies Within The Ritual Mass

  1. FrMichael says:

    Simple solution: use the Cycle A readings at the Mass where the scrutinies are conducted only.

    Problem: a priest might have to prepare Sunday two homilies that week.

    Commentary: Wah! You can always recycle it next year.

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