The Season of Lent began in the Church as the time of proximate preparation of those who were to be baptized at the Easter Vigil. Adult Baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil because of our belief that in Baptism one actually dies with Christ (the three immersions under the water represent the three days Christ was in the tomb) and rises with him to new life. During Lent, our focus as a community is on those who are to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil. It is also a time for the parish community to purify itself as it prepares to receive new members.
Among the rites we celebrate with our catechumens during Lent are “scrutinies,” which will be celebrated at the 9:30 Mass on each of the upcoming Sundays. The scrutinies are a time for the catechumens to examine their lives and ask God to remove from their lives anything which may keep them from fully living the Christian faith. We, as a community, will pray over them and call on the Holy Spirit to prepare them to live the Christian life. It is a very rigorous celebration and one which the individual catechumens spend much time preparing for in prayer.
The scrutinies are also a time for us, as individuals, to examine our own lives and to pray that our community may be truly ready to embrace and love our new members. Please keep our catechumens and our team ministering to them in your daily prayers this Lent.
As I write this on the Monday after Ash Wednesday over one thousand people have subscribed to our Lenten Video Project! I am so grateful to all who have joined us. Lent is a forty-day long parish retreat. Having so many of us take part in this Project will certainly help our community prepare for Easter and be ready to celebrate with our new members. Our Lenten Video Project is a great way to CONNECT with God, REACH others, and BUILD community.