Nick (Nhat) Tran, Mark Golin and Abdul Hussein are the catechumens on the RCIA journey this year in the parish. Catechumens are preparing for baptism, confirmation and reception of holy communion. They are part of the Church after the ceremony with Archbishop Coleridge in the cathedral two weeks ago when their names were recorded as the elect. They are part of the Church but not fully part.
This will happen on Holy Saturday night during the vigil celebration. Just as the Samaritan woman had a remarkable encounter with Jesus at the well outside her village, so these three will come to the Easter blessed water and allow themselves to be born again by water and the Holy Spirit.
They have journeyed with the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) team since September 2014. Along with Sarah and Cassie who have already been baptised in another Christian Church and who seek to come into full communion with the Catholic Church, the three men have met together each week to pray, study, discuss and share what it is we believe as Catholics and learn how we live.
Starting this Sunday and continuing over the Sunday 4 and 5 of Lent these men will be part of a simple but significant ritual after the homily at the mass they attend. These ancient rites are called “scrutinies” and they may, at first, seem strange to us. But they are profoundly rooted in our human experience. We need to examine (scrutinize) how we are, the areas of our lives where we are tempted, or seriously sin – in what we do and what we fail to do. We really need healing and the strength that can come from the support of our sisters and brothers.
One of the most powerful moments of the Scrutinies is how they begin. After the homily, the Elect are invited to come forward with their sponsors and stand before us. I then invite the whole assembly to pray for them in silence. It is a very solemn moment. This community has cared for these elect for some months now on their journey. We have sent them to reflect more and more deeply on the Word of God, and expressed to them our longing for the day on which they would join us at the table of the Lord. Now we pray for them in this sacred silence, deeply asking God to protect them and heal them in the weeks ahead.
Intercessions for the Elect
We then pray out loud together for the Elect.
Prayer of Exorcism
Then, we pray that they might be freed from the power of the Evil One and protected on their journey.
The Laying On of Hands
In a silent ritual deliberately reminiscent of the rite used for ordination in the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the priest or deacon lays his hands for a brief moment on the head of each of the Elect. It is a solemn act of calling down the Spirit of Jesus to be with them and protect them
Make a note of their names and Sarah and Cassie and pray for them each week until Easter.
Fr Adrian Farrelly
|Mar 18, 2015
|3rd Sunday of Lent 08.03.2015