The two young women stood at the front of the church, motionless and transfixed, their sponsors' hands on their shoulders, as we celebrated the Second Scrutiny with those preparing for baptism this week during the choir Mass. It was a simple and powerful moment, as the commuity embraced them in prayer and invoked the power of Christ to defend them against evil during their final weeks of preparation for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
After inviting the two catechumens to the front, and saying a brief prayer, our pastor invited us to recite the Creed - and it instantly made tremendous sense as the community stepped up to the plate -reciting it with more gusto than usual, as if everyone in the room suddenly recognized the privilege of being Catholic and became proud to profess their belief (see my previous post on that topic). We then prayed the intercessions over them, Father prayed the Prayer of Exorcism and the choir and Assemby responded with a hearty rendition of "Stand Firm."
When the Rites are well celebrated they teach. I hope that everyone there today learned as much as I did from this simple, dignified and heart-felt experience.