One month after the Baptism of a group of adults, that took place on the 29th of May of this year. An informal activity was organised at St. Agatha’s in Rabat, to celebrate together their new life after receiving the Sacraments of Initiation.
Mass was celebrated for those present by Fr. Frankie Cini MSSP. This was followed by an opportunity to get to know each other over light refreshments.
The newly Baptised are very enthusiastic and eager to learn more about their new Faith. Their joy in the Catholic Faith was encouraging to the cradle Catholics who were present; they felt that their faith was reinforced and inspired through their spiritual enthusiasm.
On the 29th of May 2021, feast of the Holy Trinity, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina, His Grace, Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna, received into the Church ten adults, when he conferred on them the Sacraments of Initiation.
The Elect, those who throughout lent had been preparing to be received into the Church, usually receive the three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist during the Easter Vigil.
His Grace personally welcomes them, as the shepherd of the local Church. As neophytes, in the Easter period until Pentecost, the newly baptised are gently immersed into their parishes and other Christian communities through a special period of catechesis called Mystagogy.
This year, because of Covid measures, the ceremony was postponed. Now that they have been welcomed with open arms, let us congratulate them and continue to pray for them as we continue together as one Church on our one faith Journey.
The first of the three scrutinies for the elect was celebrated by His Grace, Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna, during the Third Sunday of Lent liturgy on March 7, 2021 that took place at Good Shepherd Church in Balzan. The elect are the adults undergoing a period of purification and enlightenment as part of their journey to receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist and being welcomed into the Church.
The Church celebrates the scrutinies during three consecutive Sundays of Lent, from the third to the fifth Sunday. It is an ancient rite and “By this means, first of all, the elect are instructed gradually about the mystery of sin, from which the whole world and every person longs to be delivered and thus saved from its present and future consequences. Second, their spirit is filled with Christ the Redeemer, who is the living water (gospel of the Samaritan woman in the first scrutiny), the light of the world (gospel of the man born blind in the second scrutiny), the resurrection and the life (gospel of Lazarus in the third scrutiny). From the first to the final scrutiny the elect should progress in their perception of sin and their desire for salvation.”(Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, 143)
The purpose of the three scrutinies is “to expose and heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful” in the hearts of the elect as well as “to reveal and fortify that which is honourable and good” in the person. In this way they are prepared to the life of holiness of the People of God.
The Rite of Election, celebrated by His Grace Mgr. Charles J. Scicluna, for the catechumens who are preparing to be initiated as full members of the Catholic Church, took place on the 21st of February 2021 at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace in Zabbar.
The Rite of Election closes the period of the catechumenate as it is celebrated on the First Sunday of Lent. Upon the testimony of sponsors and catechists and the catechumens’ affirmation of their intention to join the Church, the Church makes its “election” of these catechumens to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. In the presence of the Archbishop, they inscribe their names in the Book of the Elect as a pledge of fidelity. Now the catechumens are called “the elect” or “the illuminandi” (“those who will be enlightened”). They now begin a Period of Purification and Enlightenment — the final, intense preparation for the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation that takes place at the Easter Vigil.