New reader Karen DiNoto made a query I’d like to draw out and offer some extended commentary.
I am a new catechist and going to be doing the dismissal and lesson this week and need some thought provoking questions on how they felt during and after the scrutinies. Any suggestions?
I offer a disclaimer first: I am not a catechist by vocation. I would have two hopes at this stage of the catechumenate year. First, that the liturgies would be good in the sense of having the richness of music, Scripture, homily, and even environment to reflect upon. Second, that the elect have, by now, been formed to look at liturgy with an attitude of reflection.
By the time the elect have reached the fifth Sunday of Lent, they should be well into a period of scrutiny and reflection. A good catechist would remind the elect to look and listen for items that will strike them during the liturgy. It can be a matter of feelings–“I felt relief, forgiveness, affirmation …” or it can be insights–“I noticed Jesus did this, I heard in the song this …”. I would treat the beginning of the dismissal period as a second go through the Liturgy of the Word, allowing the elect to relive the experience and reflect on it.
As a dismissal leader, I would mostly let the insights of the people guide the time together. I would be prepared to comment on one or two aspects if the elect didn’t raise the points. Those would be the purpose of the scrutinies, and I’d ask what was uncovered and healed, what was brought out and strengthened.
By this time of Lent, the experience of the forty days as a retreat should be well-established. I’d treat the liturgy as an experience upon which to reflect.