Rite of the Oil of the Catechumens
This Wednesday, at RCIA class, we had a rather pleasant surprise. We were presented with a minor Rite, the Rite of the Oil of the Catechumens and the Presentation of the Creed. It is normally tied in with the First Scrutiny, the Deacon said. First he said a prayer that was similar to the First Scrutiny, of protection and care to the catechumens. Then each of us walked up to the stairs in front of the altar, and the Deacon annointed our heads and hands with the Oil of the Catechumens, in the shape of a cross. We went back to our seats, not really sure what to do with the puddle of oil in our hands. Most of us just rubbed it in like lotion. Then the Deacon gave us each a copy of the Nicene Creed and read it to us out loud. The copy of the Nicene Creed was very nice. Then we were privilaged to be able to stand around the alter and say our closing prayer of the evening.
It was such a beautiful blessing. I see now why the church has so many rites - they really make me feel like I'm a part of something now much bigger than me. Plus we all need all the blessings we can get right now!