RCIA 164-170: Second Scrutiny

img_6803These seven sections outline the Second Scrutiny, which is ordinarily celebrated on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. I refer you to the discussion we had on the First Scrutiny for a refresher on the structure, rubrics, and prayers of the rite. The Church offers a strong preference for the use of the cycle A Fourth Sunday readings when this ritual is celebrated. Pastors and liturgists have the pastoral option of using those readings at all Sunday liturgies, even the ones at which the scrutiny is not celebrated.

RCIA 167 gives intercessions for the elect. As was true for the First Scrutiny, they allude often to the Gospel reading. Unless a parish is going to bother with specially composing intercessions–an option given in the rite, by the way–it would seem to make sense to ensure a certain thematic unity within the liturgy.

Look at the exorcism prayers in RCIA 168:

Father of mercy,
you led the man born blind
to the kingdom of light
through the gift of faith in your Son.

Free these elect
from the false values that surround and blind them.
Set them firmly in your truth,
children of the light for ever.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

At this point laying of hands is done in silence, then the second half of the exorcism prayer addressed to Christ:

Lord Jesus,
you are the true light that enlightens the world.
Through your Spirit of truth
free those who are enslaved to the father of lies.

Stir up the desire for good in these elect,
whom you have chosen for your sacraments.

Let them rejoice in your light, that they may see,
and, like the man born blind whose sight you restored,
let them prove to be staunch and fearless witnesses to the faith,
for you are Lord for ever and ever.

For those who insist on non-cycle A and the prayers as written, option B is your better choice:

Lord God,
source of unfailing light,
by the death and resurrection of Christ
you have cast out the darkness of hatred and lies
and poured forth the light of truth and love
upon the human family.

Hear our prayers for these elect,
whom you have called to be your adopted children.

Enable them to pass from darkness to light
and, delivered from the prince of darkness,
to live always as children of the light.

We ask this through Christ our Lord

Lord Jesus,
at your own baptism
the heavens were opened
and you received the Holy Spirit
to empower you to proclaim the Good News to the poor
and restore sight to the blind.

Pour out the same Holy Spirit on these elect,
who long for your sacraments.
Guide them along the paths of right faith,
safe from error, doubt, and unbelief,
so that with eyes unsealed
they may come to see you face to face,
for you live and reign for ever and ever.

The rite doesn’t explicitly say these prayers can be adapted. I will tell you that in parishes where the pastor insisted that readings from cycle B and C were to be used, I did rewrite them, changing the allusions from those referring to the man born blind to the gospels of the cycle B and C Lenten Sundays. As a more generic option, the B prayers are suitable enough.

One aspect on which I didn’t comment on the First Scrutiny was the prescription for a song after the exorcism. This topic is worth a post on its own, so for the moment I’ll leave you with the rubric at the end of RCIA 168 (repeated at RCIA 154 and 175) which suggests one of many psalms:

An appropriate song may be sung, for example, Psalm 6, 26, 32, 38, 39, 40, 51, 116:1-9, 130, 139, or 142.

Any comments on the Second Scrutiny?

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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 164-170: Second Scrutiny

  1. Pingback: RCIA 171-177: Third Scrutiny « Catholic Sensibility

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