Sorry about the delay in the RCIA series here. I’m not sure how I want to handle the texts of the scrutinies, especially where they repeat in the weeks ahead. Let me first quote the rubrics on the intercessions:
153. Either of the following formularies, options A or B, may be used for the intercessions for the elect and both the introduction and the intentions may be adapted to fit various circumstances. During the intercessions the godparents stand with their right hand on the shoulder of the elect.
[If it is decided, in accord with no. 156, that after the dismissal of the elect the usual general intercessions of the Mass are to be omitted and that the liturgy of the Eucharist is to begin immediately, intentions for the Church and the whole world are to be added to the following intentions for the elect.]
There is agreement among many liturgists and catechumenate ministers that the scrutiny intercessions, given their importance in the ritual, leave something to be desired. Set A addresses various needs of the elect without referring to Scripture. Set B alludes many times to the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel, designated for the Mass with the First Scrutiny.
Here are some samples from A:
That they may ponder the word of God in their hearts and savor its meaning more fully day by day
That they may learn to know Christ, who came to save what was lost
That they may humbly confess themselves to be sinners
Three more intercessions follow for the elect specifically, then one for their families, one for the faith community, and one for the whole world. Set B is similar, with five intercessions for the elect, one for “those whose lives are empty for want of the word of God” and a last one for “all of us.”
Next up, exorcism.
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