Sunday, March 14, 2010

Second Scrutiny - Looking Within to Find the Light of Christ

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.

Our pastor outdid himself in bringing the theme of  the Light of Christ into the homily, connecting it with the words spoken when our godparent lights our baptismal candle: our baptismal symbol of the week, which, of course fit right in with the Gospel reading of the Man Born Blind. The hymn texts were all laced with references to light and darkness as well.  It is truly amazing to liturgy planners when all elements of the Mass fall into place as if naturally on a given theme - and this was one of the best moments I have experienced.

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.

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