If you spend time with and around the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, you might know that the third Sunday of Lent is the time appointed for the First Scrutiny. The scrutinies, which take place on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent, are meant to "complete the conversion of the elect and deepen their resolve to hold fast to Christ and to carry out their decision to love God above all" (RCIA, 128).
At the Rite of Election, the Celebrant asks the Godparents of the Elect if they (the Elect) have "shared the company of their Christian brothers and sisters and joined with them in prayer?" The answer is hopefully in the affirmative. The whole of the journey to the Easter Sacraments is one of prayer in community. The Elect have journeyed with a faith community and come to hear the call of God in their life.
While the scrutinies are very much about their walk in faith, it is not something that they undertake alone. The Christian walk is hard, and they'll need all the help they can get. They need the community that has cared for them and held them in prayer throughout their journey.
I remember for years I would see the date and Mass time for the scrutinies and I would make it a point to not attend that Mass, I didn't want to go to a "long" Mass with "extra stuff".
I hope you're not like that, and if you are, or if the First Scrutiny is happening at a time you normally don't go to Mass, maybe one time in the next three weeks you can break your normal schedule and go to pray with and for the Elect.
Rebecca Spellacy is the Associate Director for Liturgy in the Office of Formation for Discipleship at the Archdiocese of Toronto. Her Lenten series continues on Our Faith Alive next week.