An exorcism can be defined as “the expulsion of Demons or other evil spirits reputed to have taken possession of a person, place or object.” An exorcism usually involves putting holy water on the demon while directing orders and threats at the demon. However in some cases an exorcism can take much longer because of the arguments between the exorcist and the demon. Cases like these can also involve the thrashing of the victim’s body with sticks. Although many priests are doubtful in regards to exorcisms, requests are still made for priests to carry out the ritual. With authorization from their bishops some priests, mostly Catholic, still perform exorcisms.
Witches can also perform exorcisms.
The exorcists rid the demons from the victim by calling on the assistance of God, Christ, the twelve apostles and other friendly spirits. When someone or something was believed to be possessed by a demon or demons, getting an exorcist would be the first response. If an exorcism failed the first time, the exorcist may have to keep repeating the exorcism. This meant that cases could usually be very difficult and required much patience. An exorcism would usually be done at midnight and the modern service begins with the words;
‘I rebuke thee! I rebuke thee! I rebuke thee! I abjure thee and summon thee forth from this man/woman.’
Prayer and Holy water was also used. The exorcist would also attempt to identify the demon by name, find out how many demons were involved and find out if they would leave on their own accord or whether he or she had to use force to make them depart from the body that they inhibited. Many believe that the ritual of exorcism had a beneficial psychosomatic effect, but there have been cases when it has had the opposite effect.
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