Q: I was at a parish while visiting up north last weekend and the community was celebrating the Second Scrutiny at Mass. I found it interesting that they didn’t celebrate the Penitential Act during the Introductory Rites and the priest explained that they do not do it when they are celebrating one of the scrutinies. I have never heard of this. While I understand that the assembly does indeed have a role to play in praying for the Elect during the scrutiny, I did not think that the assembly was the object of the scrutiny but only the Elect. Have you seen this or can you provide any insight to this choice?
A: I confess that years ago I did this a few times to save time at Sunday mass, but it’s not a good idea. The scrutiny really is for the elect. It includes petitions for the assembly and the world, but it is the elect who are being scrutinized. The scrutiny has a different purpose from the penitential act. Both should be included in the Sunday mass.