253: EXORCISM: the Catholic Service against Satan and the Rebellious Angels

“A devilishly  warm welcome to Zingcreed, the Christian/Atheist polemic which aims to bring you facts and features on religion you never thought you’d see. Today, as a sequel to the previous Post ‘Demons are for Dorks!’  I can present a real scoop – I have acquired a copy of the official Exorcism rites as used by the Roman Catholic church today. What a hoot! I think they should be more widely known, so I have typed out the whole thing for viewers of the Zingcreed blog to see. Why not use them and perform your own exorcism? Don’t forget the holy water! NB wherever the symbol of the cross appears in brackets, it signifies ‘Cross yourself’. Now just don’t ask me how I came by this priceless Order of Service!”  Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.



Published by order of His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903)

(The Holy Father exhorts priests to say this prayer as often as possible, as a simple exorcism to curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm. The faithful also may say it in their own name for the same purpose, as an approved prayer. Its use is recommended whenever action of the devil is suspected, causing malice in men, violent temptations, and even storms and various calamities. it could be used as a solemn exorcism in Latin to expel the devil. It would then be said by a priest, in the name of the Church, and only with the Bishop’s permission.)

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, strengthened by the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, and powerful in the holy authority of our ministry, we confidently undertake to repulse the attacks and deceits of the devil.

“Let god arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.
As smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.”  (Ps. 67:2-3)

V. Behold the cross of the Lord! Flee, bands of enemies.
R. The lion of the tribe of Juda, the Offspring of David , hath conquered.
V. May thy mercy descend upon us.
R. As great as our hope in thee.

We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, Satanic powers, infernal invaders, wicked legions, assemblies and sects. In the name and by the virtue of Our Lord Jesus Christ (+), may you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb (+). Cease by your audacity, cunning serpent, to delude the human race, to persecute the Church, to torment God’s elect, and to sift them as wheat (+). This is the command made to you by the most high God (+), with Whom in your haughty insolence you still pretend to be equal (+), the God “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). God the Father commands you (+); God the Son commands you(+); God the Holy Ghost commands you (+). Christ commands you, the Eternal Word of God made Flesh; He Who to save our race, out-done through your malice, “humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death>” (Phil. 2:8) He Who has built His Church on the firm rock and declared that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her, because He dwells with her “all days even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt. 28:20). The hidden virtue of the Cross requires it of you as does also the the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith (+). The glorious Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, commands you (+); she who by her humility and from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception crushed your proud head. The faith of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of the other Apostles commands you (+). The blood of the martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you (+).

Thus, cursed dragon, and you, wicked legions, we adjure you by the living god (+), by the true God (+), by the holy God (+), by the God Who “so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him, may not perish but may have life everlasting.” (Jn 3:16): Cease deceiving human creatures and pouring out to them the poison of eternal perdition; cease harming the Church and hindering her liberty. Retreat, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man’s salvation. Cede the place to Christ in Whom you have found none of your works. cede the place to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church acquired by Christ at the price of His Blood. Stoop beneath the all-powerful Hand of God, tremble and flee at the evocation of the holy and terrible Name of Jesus, this Name which causes hell to tremble, this name to which the Virtues, Powers and Dominations of heaven are humbly submissive, this name which the Cherubim and Seraphim praise unceasingly, repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the God of hosts.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. May the Lord be with thee.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray

God of heaven, God of earth, God of Angels, God of Archangels, God of Patriarchs, God of prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God Who hast power to give life after death and rest after work, because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no  other, for thou art Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of Whose reign there shall be no end, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious majesty and we supplicate Thee to deliver us from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares, and their furious wickedness. Deign, O Lord, to protect us by The power and to preserve us safe and sound. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From the snares of the devil, deliver us O Lord.
That Thy Church may serve thee in peace and liberty, We beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst crush down all the enemies of Thy Church, We beseech thee to hear us.

(Holy Water is sprinkled in the place where we may be)

IMPRIMATUR: Manuel, Bishop of Barcelona December 19, 1931

Prayer to St Michael

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in  battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil, May god rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
(Composed by pope Leo XIII)

It’s enough to make your head spin!

I checked out fundy Jim Packer for a Prot take on this (i). He writes “the ministry of exorcism continues still as an occasional pastoral necessity. The 16th Century Lutheran church abolished exorcism believing that Christ’s victory over  Satan had suppressed demonic invasion for ever, but this was premature.” So there!

Packer, J.I. “Concise theology” IVP (1993) p.58

Related Zingcreed Posts:
Disposal of Holy Oils
52: Demons are for dorks
249: Angels my arse!
699: Families torture ‘possessed’ kids
027: On surviving the alpha course (Toronto effect & Victoria Climbie case)
523: How faith can harm your health #6: US church kids die



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