Spiritual Warfare Forum: The Exorcism Prayer
The Exorcism Prayer QUESTION from Aaron Lim September 5, 2001 +Peace be with you,
I wish to ask, as a catholic from the laity, am I allowed to recite prayers of exorcism? there is a formulae or prayer which was ordered by Pope Leo XIII to be published which I found in one of the Catholic websites.
According to the prayer, the introduction and description of the prayer says that any priest or laity may recite these prayers which among them include the prayer to St Micheal; as any other catholic prayer (Our Father, Hail Mary, the Doxology, etc) would be recited.
The introduction goes on to explain that exorcising is not only about official exorcism whereby in casting out evil spirits and demons. It also includes when temptations or the feeling of a spirit is attempting to disturb, calamities, or simply to stop oneself from further evil doings.
Usage of holy water is involved as well. Priests are encouraged to say this regularly like a normal prayer. Is that true? If it is, how do I or we; as a normal catholic approach it and usage it like any other prayer?
Thanks and God bless!
p/s: As an additional note; in the prayer, there are some omissions not to be said by the laity as it involves using the authority of the church. Only priests and those from the Holy Order are allowed to say it.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on September 7, 2001 Dear Mr. Lim:
The laity can do what is called simple exorcisms. These are intercessary prayers said for another, or prayer said for oneself, asking for deliverance from evil influences. The short St. Michael Prayer that is said after Mass is a simple exorcism.
But the Rite of Exorcism and the prayers that are part of that Rite are reserved to a priest appointed by the Bishop and only when appointed by the Bishop to do a Formal (Solemn) Exorcism in the name of the Church.
But other prayers can be said by the laity. The big exorcism prayer written by Pope Leo CANNOT be used by laity or clergy in the way it is written. Imprecatory Commands (speaking directly to demons such as I rebuke you demon of ....) is not allowed to laity at all, and not even to priests unless they are authorized to do a formal exorcism.
Thus the Pope Leo prayer cannot be used as written. It must be edited taking our the imprecatory commands before used.
We can use deprecatory commands such as Father in Heaven, please rebuke this demon of ...... By the way, in my opinion, even when the Pope Leo Prayer is edited (and I do have an edited version that we are allowed to say) I do not recommend people using it without guidance.
The prayers in our Spiritual Warfare Catalog you may certainly say.
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