The sections 295 through 303 give the “red-n-black” for the penitential rite. We’ll just focus on #295 today. The outline of the liturgy is as follows:
Greeting and Introduction
Anointing with the Oil of Catechumens [or Laying on of Hands]
Dismissal of the Children
Liturgy of Penance
Pretty close to the scrutiny, except for the insertion of the anointing. We’ll get into more detail in future posts. I think the rubric for RCIA 295 is important, so I’ll give it in its entirety:
295. The priest welcomes the assembly and in a few words explains that the rite will have different meanings for the different participants: the children who are catechumens, the children who are already baptized, particularly those who will celebrate the sacrament of penance for the first time, the parents, godparents, catechists, priests, etc. All these participants in their own different ways are going to hear the comforting message of pardon for sin, for which they will praise the Father’s mercy.
A song may be sung that joyfully expresses faith in the mercy of God our Father.
The combination of First Penance with the penitential rite/scrutiny occurs in no parish of which I’m aware. That an explanation might be in order seems obvious. “Few” words would be a liturgist’s hope.
Note that “joyful” song. What texts come to mind for you? I think of Psalm 103. Maybe Psalm 27. The musical idiom may also communicate the “joy.”