A small portion of the Roman Catholic rite of exorcism; I include the Latin, because that is the language in which the process is conducted. The translation is mine:

(After fortifying himself and the possessed with the sign of the cross, let him place the tip of the stole on his neck and with his right hand placed on his forehead, continuously and with great confidence say the following:)
(skipping a few lines)
Exorcizo te, immundissime spiritus, omnis incursio adversarii, omne phantasma, omnis legio, in nomine Domini nostri Jesu (sign of the cross) Christi eradicare, et effugare ab hoc plasmate Dei. (sign of the cross)Ipse tibi imperat qui te de supernis caelorum in inferiora terrae demergi praecepit. Ipse tibi imperat, qui mari, ventis, et tempestatibus imperavit. Audi ergo, et time, satana, inimice fidei, hostis generis humani, mortis adductor, vitae raptor, justitiae declinator, malorum radix, fomes vitiorum, seductor hominum, proditor gentium, incitator invidiae, origo avaritiae, causa discordiae, excitator dolorum: quid stas, et resistis, cum scias, Christum Dominum vias tuas perdere? Illum metue, qui in Isaac immolatus est, in Joseph venumdatus, in agno occisus, in homine crucifixus, deinde inferni triumphator fuit.

I exorcise thee, most vile spirit, every onslaught of the enemy, every apparition, every legion, to uproot thyself in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and to flee hence from the voice of God. (sign of the cross). It is he himself who commands thee, he who ordered thee to fall from the heights of the heavens to the depths of the earth. He commands thee, he who rules the sea, the winds, and the tempests. Hearken, therefore, and fear, O adversary, foe of faith, enemy of the human race, bringer of death, thief of life, deviant of justice, root of all evil, spark of vice, tempter of mankind, betrayer of nations, inciter of envy, source of greed, cause of quarrel, bringer of sorrows: why dost thou remain and resist, when thou dost know that Christ the Lord shall destroy thy ways? Fear him, who was sacrificed in Isaac, betrayed in Joseph, killed in the lamb, crucified in man, and finally became the victor over the netherworld.

There is much, much more. For more information, consult your local library.

This is the rite of exorcism described in James Blish's science fiction novel A Case of Conscience. The main character attributes it to Pope Gregory VIII, but I have been unable to independently verify this. Still, I suspect it would do in a pinch.

"I, a priest of Christ, do command ye, most foul spirits who do stir up these clouds, that ye depart from them, and disperse yourself into wild and untilled places, that ye may be no longer able to harm men or animals or fruits or herbs, or whatsoever is designed for human use:

"AND thou great Nothing, thou lustful and stupid one, Scrofa Stercorate, thou sooty spirit from Tartarus, I cast thee down, O Porcarie Pedicose, into the infernal kitchen:

"BY the apocalypse of Jesus Christ, which God hath given to make known unto His servants those things which are shortly to be; and hath signified, sending by his angel; I exorcise thee, angel of perversity:

"BY the seven gold candlesticks, and by one like unto the Son of Man, standing in the midst of the candlesticks; by His voice, as the voice of many waters; by His words, 'I am living, who was dead; and behold, I live forever and ever; and I have the keys of death and of Hell;' I say unto you, angel of perdition: depart, depart, DEPART!"

Mention "exorcism" to anyone randomly, and they'll immediately picture scenes half-remembered from the 1973 horror movie, with teams of priests, a terrified (or tough, battle-hardened) nun holding the victim down with a crucifix, holy water, a small choir of monks...Expect the victim to moan, cry, vomit, exhibit preternatural strength struggling to get away, and of course, do blasphemous things (like masturbate with a holy item). Insulting and being violent towards the priest is a must, as is hour after hour of curses (from both sides), as the victim wears out one priest after another, the walls bleed, and deafening screams come from nowhere. Finally, the demon shows himself corporally, and departs...or does he??

Allow me to explain the facts behind the fiction.

First, one cannot  ever be subject to an exorcism unless you specifically request one: unless you feel that your actions are out of your control, but are that of the Enemy, you are subject to ordinary Canon Law, and should seek Penance through the ordinary channels. Second, you will be interviewed by your parish Priest, who will speak comforting words, and give you a blessing. For many, this is enough. Third, if this is not enough, he will speak to the Bishop, and call in the Ca(l)vary, so to speak. And yes, they’re really good at detecting fakers. 

Reading the actual rite, which is now given in English, the general tone is not of punishment, but that of deliverance, comfort and reassurance. The rite consists (mostly) of only the prettiest and calming of prayers: the Litany of Saints, Psalm 59, and several others. Whatever you’re undergoing now, however painful or scary, don’t worry, we have the upper hand on it. It’s like calming an acid tripper or someone in shock. No, generally, the person being exorcised isn’t under any kind of restraint, unless they’re likely to hurt themselves or someone else. The part everyone likes, where they rage against the demon,  is supposed to be for the spirit bullying the person, not directed at them as such.    

We, ourselves, don’t have much more to do to help someone in severe trauma: all we can do, even with chemicals and modern nursing. A person is in pain. They may behave oddly, or have frightening thoughts or see or hear frightening things. They are sure that they are a victim, not a perpetrator. What do we do?

Fantasies aside, no “exorcism squad” exists,  or ever existed, that runs out to tie down and coerce blasphemers to endure the rite against their will. 

Unless you’re an American Evangelical. And with that, all bets are off.

Ex"or*cism (?), n. [L. exorcismus, Gr. ; cf. F. exorcisme.]


The act of exorcising; the driving out of evil spirits from persons or places by conjuration; also, the form of conjuration used.


Conjuration for raising spirits.




© Webster 1913.

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