Demonology: The Rituale Romanum

[Demonic Possession]    [Exorcism]    [Demonologists]    [Historical Connections] [Works Cited]


"Contemporary allusions establish the early ceremonies af exorcism as similar to the later forms which ultimately crystallized in the Rituale Romanum, but simpler, with merely a litany, prayers, and the laying on of hands in exorcism (Robbins181)."

The Ritual Romanum, or priest's service manual, contains the only formal exorcism rites sanctioned by an established church. First written by Pope Paul V in 1614, it cautions priests to only use exorcisms on those truly possessed, not just mentally ill.

(Robbins 186)

The following is an excerpt from THE ORDER OF EXORCISM FROM THE RITUALE ROMANUM SET FORTH BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF, PAUL V [1605].

The priest, robed in surplice and violet stole, one end of which is placed round the neck of the possessed person, bound if he is violent, sprinkles those present with holy water. Then the service begins.

1. The Litany.

2. Psalm 54 ("Save me, Oh God, by thy name").

3. Adjuration imploring God's grace for the proposed exorcism against the "wicked dragon" and a caution to the possessing spirit to "tell me thy name, the day, and the hour of they going out, by some sign."

4.The Gospel (John i; and/or Mark xvi; Luke x; Luke xi)

5. Preparatory prayer.

Then the priest, protecting himself and the possessed by the sign of the cross, placing part of his stole round the neck and placing his right hand on the head of the possessed, resolutely and with great faith shall say what follows.

6. First Exorcism:

"I exorcize thee, most vile spirit, the very embodiment of our enemy, the entire specter, the whole legion, in the name of Jesus Christ, to v get out and flee from this creature of God vv.

"He himself commands thee, who has ordered those cast down from the heights of heaven to the depths of the earth. He commands thee, he who commanded the sea, the winds, and the tempests.

"Hear therefore and fear, O Satan, enemy of the faith, foe to the human race, producer of death, thief of life, destroyer of justice, root of evils, kindler of vices, seducer of men, betrayer of nations, inciter of envy, origin of avarice, cause of discord, procurer of sorrows. Why dost thou stand and resist, when thou knowest that Christ the Lord will destroy thy strength? Fear him who was immolated in Isaac, sold in Josepth, slain in the lamb, crucified in man, and then was triumphant over hell


 
 
 

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