There are three rites referred to as the Scrutinies solemnly celebrated during the RCIA period of Purification and Enlightenment and Lent.
The rites are celebrated on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent. In these rites the cycle A readings are used from the Gospel of John. The readings pertain to the woman at the well, the blind man, and the raising of Lazarus. Each miracle performed by Christ in these has a rich meaning and demonstrates the limitless power of God. These solemn rites are reinforced by an exorcism over the Elect and are for spiritual purpose with self-searching and repentance as their core. The scrutinies are meant to uncover, and then heal all that is weak, defective or sinful in the heart and are to bring out and strengthen what is righteous, strong and good. The Scrutinies are celebrated in order to deliver from the power of Satan and to protect against temptation by empowering with the strength in Christ who is the way, the truth and the life. These rites further the conversion and deepen the resolve to hold fast to Christ and to carry out the decisions to love God above all. In order to inspire in the Elect a desire for purification and redemption by Christ, they are called to participate in the scrutinies.
At Saint Patrick, both the Elect of God and the Candidates (those already baptized), participate in the Scrutinies. This enhances the bonding that has taken place in the RCIA Process and is meant to also emphasize that everyone is continually in need of the strength that Jesus Christ provides and all Christ promises is available to everyone. The community is asked to continue to pray for the Elect and Candidates as they approach the final days of their full initiation (the ELECT) and continuing conversion of the Candidates. At the celebration of the Third Scrutiny, the Children who are in the process for full initiation will also participate. It is important for the children to experience the beautiful rites and rituals of the Catholic faith whenever possible to strengthen, to be informed and to further their development and maturity in the Church. The above in part is taken from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and is provided to inform the entire community of Saint Patrick of this Process.