Exorcism (Greek: Εξορκισμος) is the rite of prayer which expels demons from a person or physical object. The most common use of exorcism in the Church is at the reception of a catechumen, which is most often included at the beginning of the baptismal rite, and during the Great Blessing of Water which is done on the baptismal waters and at Theophany. An exorcism may also be performed if it is believed that a person is suffering from demonic influence.
- Exorcism is the practice of expelling evil spirits by means of prayer or set formulas adopted by the Christian Church from pre-Christian practices. Christ Himself and his Apostles practiced exorcism for the people possessed. (See Matthew 10:1 and foll; Luke 11:14 and foll; Acts 16:18, 19:13 and foll.). Exorcism has been practiced on persons possessed by an evil spirit all through the development of the Christian Church beginning with New Testament times. The most well-known exorcisms are those applied to Catechumens about to be baptized. Since infant Baptism was introduced in the Church, the statements denouncing Satan and accepting Christ are given by the Godfather/mother in the place of the candidate to be baptized. The Orthodox exorcisms before Baptism are four in number. Following them, and after the candidate or sponsor gives the affirmations in Christ, he is required to recite the Nicene Creed as the final seal of a successful candidacy.
- It should be noted here at this point that the Orthodox exorcisms are in essence prayers for averting the influence of evil spirits rather than for expelling the devil, especially in ceremonies such as sanctifying the waters (Hagiasmos), blessing the ceremonial oil, or blessing sacred vessels. It should also be noted that the importance of exorcism in Orthodox ecclesiastical life is not as great as it is in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches. In recent years certain semi-pagan exorcistic rituals have been practiced by a number of people uncertain as to their religious belonging, including clergymen of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches. Assuming the role of an exorcist is a serious offense against the Church's conception of evil and of the sacramental means by which it should be warded off. Needless to say, evil in man, whether personified or not, naturally requires the help of the Church for its expulsion but, above all, requires the spiritual strength of the individual concerned.
- 1 Exorcism Prayers
- 1.1 Prayer by St. John Chrysostom
- 1.2 The prayers of entrance into the Catechumenate
- 1.3 Prayers of St. Basil the Great
- 1.4 Prayer by a Priest for a Home Troubled by Evil Spirits
- 1.5 Prayer to be Free of the Evil Eye
- 1.6 Holy water. Theophany
- 1.7 Blessing of objects. Censings. The Sign of the Cross
- 1.8 Other Orthodox Prayers
- 2 Exorcist as a minor order. History and significance
- 3 Exorcism today
- 4 List of Saints
- 5 See also
- 6 Further Reading
- 7 External links
- 8 References
- 9 Sources
Prayer by St. John Chrysostom
EXORCISMS or PRAYERS OF DELIVERANCE FOR GENERAL USE by St. John Chrysostom (344-407 A.D.)
O Eternal God, Who has redeemed the race of men from the captivity of the devil, deliver Thy servant/handmaid from all the workings of unclean spirits. Command the evil and impure spirits and demons to depart from the soul and body of your servant/handmaid and not to remain nor hide in him/her. Let them be banished from this the creation of Thy hands in Thine own holy name and that of Thine only begotten Son and of Thy life-creating Spirit, so that, after being cleansed from all demonic influence, he/she may live godly, justly and righteously and may be counted worthy to receive the Holy Mysteries of Thine only-begotten Son and our God with Whom Thou art blessed and glorified together with the all holy and good and life-creating Spirit now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
O Thou Who hast rebuked all unclean spirits and by the power of Thy Word has banished the legion, come now, through Thine only begotten Son upon this creature, which Thou hast fashioned in Thine own image and deliver him/her from the adversary that holds him/her in bondage, so that, receiving Thy mercy and becoming purified, he/she might join the ranks of Thy holy flock and be preserved as a living temple of the Holy Spirit and might receive the divine and holy Mysteries through the grace and compassion and loving kindness of Thine only-begotten Son with Whom Thou art blessed together with Thine all-holy and good and life-creating Spirit now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, Almighty God, Most High, untempted, peaceful King. We beseech Thee Who has created the heaven and the earth, for out of Thee has issued the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, Thou Who has ordained that the fourfooted and irrational beasts be under subjection to man, for Thou hast subjected them. Lord, stretch out Thy mighty hand and Thy sublime and holy arm and in Thy watchful care look down upon this Thy creature and send down upon him/her a peaceful angel, a mighty angel, a guardian of soul and body, that will rebuke and drive away every evil and unclean demon from him/her, for Thou alone are Lord, Most High, almighty and blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.
We make this great, divine, holy and awesome invocation and plea, O devil, for thine expulsion, as well as this rebuke for your utter annihilation, O apostate! God Who is holy, beginningless, frightful, invisible in essence, infinite in power and incomprehensible in divinity, the King of glory and Lord Almighty, He shall rebuke thee, devil! -- He Who composed all things well by his Word from nothingness into being; He Who walks upon the wings of the air. The Lord rebukes thee, devil! -- He Who calls forth the water of the sea and pours it upon the face of all the earth. Lord of Hosts is His name. Devil: the Lord rebukes thee! He Who is ministered to and praised by numberless heavenly orders and adored and glorified in fear by multitudes of angelic and archangelic hosts. Satan: the Lord rebukes thee! He Who is honored by the encircling Powers, the awesome six-winged and many-eyed Cherubim and Seraphim that cover their faces with two wings because of His inscrutable and unseen divinity and with two wings cover their feet, lest they be seared by His unutterable glory and incomprehensible majesty, and with two wings do fly and fill the heavens with their shouts of "Holy, holy, holy, Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of Thy glory!" Devil: The Lord rebukes thee! He Who came down from the Father's bosom and, through the holy, inexpressible, immaculate and adorable Incarnation from the Virgin, appeared ineffably in the world to save it and cast thee down from heaven in His authoritative power and showed thee to be an outcast to every man. Satan: The Lord rebukes thee! He Who said to the sea, be silent, be still, and instantly it was calmed at His command. Devil: The Lord rebukes thee! He Who made clay with His immaculate spittle and refashioned the wanting member of the man blind from birth and gave him his sight. Devil: The Lord rebukes thee! He Who by His word restored to life the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue and snatched the son of the widow out from the mouth of death and gave him whole and sound to his own mother. Devil: The Lord rebukes thee! The Lord Who raised Lazarus the four-days dead from the dead, undecayed, as if not having died, and unblemished to the astonishment of many. Satan: The Lord rebukes thee! He Who destroyed the curse by the blow on His face and by the lance in His immaculate side lifted the flaming sword that guarded Paradise. Devil: The Lord rebukes thee! He Who dried all tears from every face by the spitting upon His precious expressed image. Devil: The Lord rebukes thee! He Who set His Cross as a support, the salvation of the world, to thy fall and the fall of all the angels under thee. Devil: The Lord rebukes thee! He Who spoke from His Cross and the curtain of the temple was torn in two, and the rocks were split and the tombs were opened and those who were dead from the ages were raised up. Devil: The Lord rebukes thee! He Who by death put death to death and by His rising granted life to all men. May the Lord rebuke thee, Satan! -- that is, He Who descended into Hades and opened its tombs and set free those held prisoner in it, calling them to Himself; before Whom the gatekeepers of Hades shuddered when they saw Him and, hiding themselves, vanished in the anguish of Hades. May the Lord rebuke thee, devil! -- That is, Christ our God Who arose from the dead and granted His Resurrection to all men.
May the Lord rebuke thee, Satan! -- He Who in glory ascended into heaven to His Father, sitting on the right of majesty upon the throne of glory. Devil: May the Lord rebuke thee! He Who shall come again with glory upon the clouds of heaven with His holy angels to judge the living and the dead. Devil: May the Lord rebuke thee! He Who has prepared for thee unquenchable fire, the unsleeping worm and the outer darkness unto eternal punishment. Devil: May the Lord rebuke thee! For before Him all things shudder and tremble from the face of His power and the wrath of His warning upon thee is uncontainable. Satan: The Lord rebukes thee by His frightful name!
Shudder, tremble, be afraid, depart, be utterly destroyed, be banished! Thee who fell from heaven and together with thee all evil spirits: every evil spirit of lust, the spirit of evil, a day and nocturnal spirit, a noonday and evening spirit, a midnight spirit, an imaginative spirit, an encountering spirit, either of the dry land or of the water, or one in a forest, or among the reeds, or in trenches, or in a road or a crossroad, in lakes, or streams, in houses, or one sprinkling in the baths and chambers, or one altering the mind of man. Depart swiftly from this creature of the Creator Christ our God! And be gone from the servant/handmaid of God ___________, from his/her mind, from his/her soul, from his/her heart, from his/her reins, from his/her senses, from all his/her members, that he/she might become whole and sound and free, knowing God, his/her own Master and Creator of all things, He Who gathers together those who have gone astray and Who gives them the seal of salvation through the rebirth and restoration of divine Baptism, so that he may be counted worthy of His immaculate, heavenly and awesome Mysteries and be united to His true fold, dwelling in a place of pasture and nourished on the waters of repose, guided pastorally and safely by the staff of the Cross unto the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. For unto Him belong all glory, honor, adoration and majesty together with Thy beginningless Father and His all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
The prayers of entrance into the Catechumenate
Note: these exorcisms are at the very beginning of the making of the Catechumanate service. They precede the candidate renouncing the devil, pledging allegiance to Christ, baptism and Chrismation.
Priest: Let us pray to the Lord
People: Lord, have mercy
Priest: The Lord rebukes you, O Devil, for he came into the world and dwelt among men in order to shatter your tyranny and free mankind; hanging on the Cross, he triumphed over all the hostile powers, when the sun was darkened and the earth was shaken, when the graves were opened and the bodies of the Saints rose; he destroyed death by death and conquered you, O Devil, who had the power of death. I adjure you in the name of God who revealed the tree of life and appointed the Cherubim and the fiery sword that turns each way to guard it. Be rebuked and depart; for I adjure you in the name of him who walked on the water as if it were dry land, and calmed the tempest whose look dries up the abyss and whose threatening makes the mountains melt away. It is this same Lord who now commands you, through us. Fear, come out and depart from this human being(these human beings), and never return, not hide in him(her/them), neither meet nor act upon him(her/them), not by night or by day, not at dawn or at noontime, but depart to your own darkness until the appointed day of judgment. Fear God who sits upon the Cherubim and looks down into the abyss; before whom tremble Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Authorities, Powers, the many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim; before whom tremble the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them. Come out and depart from this soldier(these soldiers) or Christ our God, for he(she) has (they have) been marked with the sign of the Cross and newly enlisted. For it is in His name that I adjure you, the name of the Lord who walks upon the wings of the wind, who makes his Angels spirits and his ministers a flaming fire. Come out and depart from this human being (these human beings), with all your power and your angels. For the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is glorified, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen
SECOND EXORCISM Priest: Let us pray to the Lord
People: Lord, have mercy
Priest: God the holy, the fearful, the glorious, incomprehensible and inscrutable in all his works and all his might, who ordained for you, O Devil, the punishment of eternal torment, through us his unworthy servants, orders you, and all the powers that work with you, to depart from him(her/them) who has(have) been newly sealed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God. Therefore, I adjure you, most wicked, impure, abominable, loathsome and alien spirit: Come out of the man and never again enter into him. Depart, admit the vanity of your power which could not even control the swine. Remember him who, at your own request, commanded you to enter into the herd of the swine. Fear God, by whose command the earth was made firm upon the waters; who made the heaven, who weighted the mountains in a balance and the valleys on a pair of scales (Is 40,12) who placed the sand as a boundary to the sea and a safe path in the raging waters; who makes the mountains smoke at his touch; who clothes himself with light as a garment; who covers over his lofty dwellings with waters; who laid the foundations of the earth so secure that it should never be shaken from them; who lifts up the water and the sea and returns it as rain upon the face of all the earth. Come out and depart from him (her/them) who is (are) now preparing for holy illumination. I adjure you by the saving Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and his sacred Body and Blood and his awesome return; for he shall come without delay to judge all the earth, and shall assign you, and all the powers working with you, to the fire of hell, having deliver you to the outer darkness, where the worm constantly devours, and the fire is never extinguished. For the power belongs to Christ our God, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever unto the ages of ages Amen.
THIRD EXORCISM Priest: Let us pray to the Lord
People: Lord, mercy
Priest: O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, who heal every illness every infirmity, look upon your servant(s) (N); seek out examine and expel from him (her/them) all the workings of the Devil. Rebuke the impure spirits and banish them, and cleanse the work(s) of your hands; by your swift action crush Satan under his (her/their) feet, and grant to him (her/them) victory over the Devil and his impure spirits; so that, having received your mercy, he (she/they) may become worthy of your immortal and heavenly mysteries and may give glory to you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen.
Prayers of St. Basil the Great
FIRST PRAYER OF EXORCISM & HEALING - St. Basil the Great – 330 -379AD
Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
O God of gods and Lord of lords, Creator of the fiery spirits and Artificer of the invisible powers, of all things heavenly and earthly: Thou Who no man has seen -- nor is able to see; Thou Whom all creation fears and before Whom it trembles; Thou Who didst cast into the darkness of the abyss of Tartars the angels who did fall away with him who once was commander of the angelic host, who disobeyed Thee and haughtily refused to serve Thee, do Thou expel by the terror of Thy name the evil one and his legions loose upon the earth, Lucifer and those with him who fell from above. Set him to flight and command him and his demons to depart completely. Let no harm come to them who are sealed in Thy image and let those who are sealed receive dominion, "to tread on serpents and scorpions and all the power of the enemy." For Thee do we hymn and magnify and with every breath do we glorify Thy all-holy name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
SECOND PRAYER OF EXORCISM - St Basil the Great
Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
I expel you, primal source of blasphemy, prince of the rebel host, originator of evil. I expel you, Lucifer, who was cast from the brilliance on high into the darkness of the abyss on account of your arrogance: I expel you and all the fallen hosts which followed your will: I expel you, spirit of uncleanness, who revolted against Adonai, Elohim, the omnipotent God of Sabaoth and the army of His angels. Be gone and depart from the servant/handmaid of God ______________. I expel you in the name of Him Who created all things by His Word, His Only-Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was ineffably and dispassionately born before all the ages; by Whom was formed all things visible and invisible, Who made man after His Image: Who guarded him by the angels, Who trained him in the Law, Who drowned sin in the flood of waters from above and Who shut up the abysses under the heaven, Who demolished the impious race of giants, Who shook down the tower of Babel, Who reduced Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes by sulfur and fire, a fact to which the unceasing vapors testify; and Who by the staff of Moses separated the waters of the Red Sea, opening a waterless path for the people while the tyrannical Pharaoh and his God-fighting army were drowned forever in its waves for his wicked persecution of them; and Who in these last days was inexplicably incarnate of a pure Virgin who preserved the seal of her chastity intact; and Who was pleased to purge our ancient defilement in the baptismal cleansing. I expel you, Satan, by virtue of Christ's baptism in the Jordan, which for us is a type of our inheritance of incorruption through grace and sanctified waters: the same One Who astounded the angels and all the heavenly powers when they beheld God incarnate in the flesh and also revealed at the Jordan His beginningless Father and the Holy Spirit with Whom He shares the unity of the Trinity. I expel you, evil one, in the name of Him Who rebuked the winds and stilled the turbulent sea; Who banished the legion of demons and opened the eyes of him who was born blind from his mother's womb; and Who from clay fashioned sight for him, whereby He re-enacted the ancient refashioning of our face; Who restored the speech of the speechless, purged the stigma of leprosy, raised the dead from the grave and Who Himself despoiled Hades by His death and Resurrection thereby rendering mankind impervious to death. I expel you, in the name of Almighty God Who filled men with the inbreathing of a divinely inspired voice and Who wrought together with the Apostles the piety, which has filled the universe. Fear and flee, run, leave, unclean and accursed spirit, deceitful and unseemly creature of the infernal depths, visible through deceit, hidden by pretense. Depart wherever you may appear, Beelzebub, vanish as smoke and heat, bestial and serpentine thing, whether disguised as male or female, whether beast or crawling thing or flying, whether garrulous, mute or speechless, whether bringing fear of being trampled, or rending apart, conniving, whether oppressing him/her in sleep, by some display of weakness, by distracting laughter, or taking pleasure in false tears whether by lechery or stench of carnal lust, pleasure, addiction to drugs, divination or astrology, whether dwelling in a house, whether possessed by audacity, or contentiousness or instability, whether striking him with lunacy, or returning to him after the passage of time, whether you be of the morning, noonday, midnight or night, indefinite time or daybreak, whether spontaneously or sent to someone or coming upon him/her unawares, whether from the sea, a river, from beneath the earth, from a well, a ravine, a hollow, a lake, a thicket of reeds, from matter, land, refuse, whether from a grove, a tree, a thicket, from a fowl, or thunder, whether from the precincts of a bath, a pool of water or from a pagan sepulcher or from any place where you may lurk; whether by knowledge or ignorance or any place not mentioned. Depart, separate yourself from him/her, be ashamed before him who was made in the image of God and shaped by His hand. Fear the likeness of the incarnate God and no longer hide in His servant/handmaid____________; rather await the rod of iron, the fiery furnace of Tartars, the gnashing of teeth as reprisal for disobedience. Be afraid, be still, flee, neither return nor hide in him some other kind of evil, unclean spirits. Depart into the uncultivated, waterless waste of the desert where no man dwells, where God alone vigilantly watches, Who shall bind you that dares with envy to plot against His image and Who, with chains of darkness shall hold you in Tartars, Who by day and night and for a great length of time has devised all manner of evils, O devil; for great is your fear of God and great is the glory of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
THIRD PRAYER OF EXORCISM BY St Basil the Great
Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
O God of the heavens, God of Light, God of the Angels and Archangels obedient to Thine Authority and Power; O God Who art glorified in Thy Saints, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Thine Only-begotten Son, Who delivered the souls which were bound to death and Who enlightened them that dwelt in darkness; He Who released us from all our misery and pain and Who has protected us from the assaults of the enemy. And Thou, O Son and Word of God, has purposed us for immortality by Thy death and glorified us with Thy glory; Thou Who loosed us from the fetters of our sins through Thy Cross, rendering us pleasing to Thyself and uniting us with God; Thou Who didst rescue us from destruction and cured all our diseases; Thou Who set us on the path to heaven and changed our corruption to incorruption. Hear Thou me who cry unto Thee with longing and fear, Thou before Whom the mountains and the firmament under the heavens do shrink; Thou Who makest the physical elements to tremble, keeping them within their own limits; and because of Whom the fires of retribution dare not overstep the boundary set for them but must await the decision of Thy Will; and for Whom all creation sighs with great sighs awaiting deliverance; by Whom all adverse natures have been put to flight and the legion of the enemy has been subdued, the devil is affrighted, the serpent trampled under foot and the dragon slain; Thou Who has enlightened the nations which confess and welcome Thy rule, O Lord; Thou through Whom life hath appeared, hope hath prevailed, through Whom the man of the earth was recreated by belief in Thee. For Who is like unto Thee, Almighty God? Wherefore we beseech Thee, O Father, Lord of mercies, Who existed before the ages and surpasses all good, calling upon Thy holy name, through the love of Thy Child, Jesus Christ, the Holy One, and Thine All-powerful Spirit.
Cast away from his/her soul every malady, all disbelief, spare him/her from the furious attacks of unclean, infernal, fiery, evil-serving, lustful spirits, the love of gold and silver, conceit, fornication, every shameless, unseemly, dark and profane demon. Indeed, O God, expel from Thy servant/handmaiden _________ every energy of the devil, every enchantment and delusion; all idolatry, lunacy, astrology, necromancy, every bird of omen, the love of luxury and the flesh, all greed, drunkenness, carnality, adultery, licentiousness, shamelessness, anger, contentiousness, confusion and all evil suspicion. Yea, O Lord our God, breathe upon him/her the Spirit of Thy Peace, watch over him/her and produce thereby the fruits of faith, virtue, wisdom, chastity, self-control, love, uprightness, hope, meekness, longsuffering, patience, prudence and understanding in Thy servant/handmaiden that he/she may be welcomed by Thee in the name of Jesus Christ, believing in the coessential Trinity, giving witness and glorifying Thy dominion, along with the Angels and Archangels and all the heavenly host, guarding our hearts by them; for all things are possible to Thee, O Lord. Therefore, we ascribe glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer by a Priest for a Home Troubled by Evil Spirits
O Lord God of our salvation, Son of the Living God, Who is borne by the Cherubim, being above all dominions, principalities, authorities and powers: You are great and fearsome to all around You. You are the One Who set the heavens like a vault and made the earth in Your might; Who directs the universe in Your wisdom. When earthquakes occur under heaven from the foundations, its pillars are unshaken. You speak and the sun does not shine. You sealed the stars. You forbad the seas and dried them up. Authorities and dominions hide from Your wrath, and the rock trembles before You.
You obliterated the gates of brass and demolished the bars of iron. You bound the Mighty One and smashed his vessels. By Your Cross You cast down tyrants and drew in the Serpent with the hook of Your humanity. Having cast him down, You bound him with hooks in the gloom of Tartarus.
As the same Lord, the Hope of those who place their confirmation on You, and the Wall of might for those whose expectation is in You, anathematize, drive away and transform all diabolical actions and all satanic indictments, all slanders of the Adversary, and of the powers lying under this roof. Free those bearing the Sign which is awesome against demons: the Cross of Your victory, and calling upon Your gracious Name, from possession by him and from those wandering about under this roof.
Yea, Lord, You drove away legions of demons, and the demons and unclean spirits by which the deaf and dumb were held. These You commanded to depart and not to return again. You have consumed all the armies of our invisible enemies, and have made wise the faithful who have known You. For You said, "Behold, I give you power to trample underfoot snakes and scorpions, and all the power of enemies" (Luke 10:19).
Preserve, O Master, all who live in the house from all harm and every temptation from below, delivering them from fear of the feeble one and the arrows that fly by day, from things proceeding from the darkness and attacks by demons at midday. Let Your servants and Your children, delighting in Your help, and preserved by armies of angels, faithfully sing with one accord: "The Lord is my Helper and I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?" and again, "I will fear no evil, for You are with me."
As You are my Confirmation, O God, Mighty Master, Prince of Peace, and Father of the age to come, for Your kingdom is an eternal Kingdom, to you alone is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer to be Free of the Evil Eye
Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy
O Lord Our God, the King of the ages, almighty and all powerful, who create and alter all things by your will alone; who changed into dew the flames of the furnace in Babylon that had been heated seven times more than usual, and preserved in safety your three holy youths; the physican and healer of our souls; the security of those who hope in you; we pray you and beseech you: Remove, drive away and banish every diabolical activity, every satanic attack and every plot, evil curiousity and injury, and the evil eye of mischievous and wicked men from your servant (Name); and whether it was brought about by beauty, or bravery, or happiness, or jealousy and envy, or evil eye, do you yourself, O Lord who love mankind, stretch out your mighty hand and your powerful and lofty arm, look down on this your creature and watch over him(her), and send him(her) an angel of peace, a mighty guardian of soul and body, who will rebuke and banish from him (her) every wicked intention, every spell and evil eye of destructive and envious men; so that, guarded by your, your supplicant may sing to you with thanksgiving: The Lord is my helper, and I shall not be afraid; what can man do to me? And again: I shall fear no evil because you are with me.
For you are God my strength, the powerful ruler, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the age to come. Yes, Lord, our God, spare your creature and save your servant (Name) from every injury and brought about by the evil eye, and keep him (her) safe above every ill. For your are our King and all things are possible to Thee, O Lord. Therefore, we ascribe glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Holy water. Theophany
Blessing of objects. Censings. The Sign of the Cross
Other Orthodox Prayers
This is a text of a manuscript, no. 98 (ff.133-39) according to the catalogue compiled by S.P. Lambros (1895), held in the library of Xiropotamou Monastery on Mt. Athos. Although Lambros dates the manuscript to the sixteenth century, this particular part appears to have been written in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century…The transcription was made from a microfilm of the original provided by the Patriarchal Institute for Patristic Studies, Moni Vlatadon, Thessaloniki. This is a text that would have been consulted by priests before performing exorcisms.
- " 'I exorcise you, evil Devil, enemy of truth, by the awful and holy name of All-Powerful God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to tell me immediately how your name is called. I adjure you by the holy angels, thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, and authorities; by the many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim to tell me immediately how your name is called. I adjure you by the supremely pure Maria, Mother of God, by the twelve and seventy holy apostles; by the terrible and unimpeachable judgement and by the holy blood that flowed from the side of our Lord, Jesus Christ; by the twenty-four presbyters, forever presiding at the invisible throne of God and singing the unhalting song and by all the wondrous works of All-Powerful God that have occurred in heaven and on earth, by the holy patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the saints [who lived] before the Law; by the holy fourteen thousand infants, those slaughtered under Herod; by all holy men and women, those who pleased holy God in their lifetime. I adjure all you evil spirits, by all the saints, that you tell me your names' - then show the holy cross, holding it in your hand and say, - 'Behold the holy cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Depart evil Devil! Jesus Christ conquers. The lion; he of Judah's race; he of the root of David; the Emmanuel [the Saviour]. Christ reigns, Christ holds power, Christ slays, Christ grants life; holy, holy, holy Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth are filled with his glory, Hosannah in the highest, and who is blessed through the ages. Amen. Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered and let them flee from his countenance. As smoke vanishes so may they disappear; as wax melts away from the face of fire, and snow from the burning heat of the sun. Cursed Devil, why do you delay and not speak your name? Give glory to holy God; take fright at these varied and many oaths [exorcisms]. I adjure you by our Lord Jesus Christ. Speak your name. I adjure you by him for whom every knee bends in heaven and on earth and in the underworld, that you tell your name. I adjure you by him who made himself of no reputation and assumed the form of a servant. Tell what your name is. I adjure you by that blood, the same as that which poured out upon the cross. Speak your name; say it plainly. I, the servant of God, ask you what is your name. Tell whether you have other accomplices with you as well, and how you are and from what class, or what your leader is called. In what power and authority or where and in which place are you dwelling? Before coming out of this person you must tell me to whom you are subordinate. Tell me when you emerge and what sign you make when you emerge. I adjure you by the Holy Spirit that revealed you through Peter, supreme among the apostles, in Simon Magus, and in Kynops Angkhistos, by the Apostle John the Theologian on the island Patmos. Answer what I have asked you, wily Devil. Humble yourself. Hades has been appointed as your seat of power; therein is your dwelling. So, there is no time to wait. The Lord will soon arrive and [ . . . ] in judging the earth and He will punish you and your accomplice force, in hell-fire, giving you over to the outer darkness where there is the unsleeping worm and the unquenchable fire. Speak your name, for great is the fear of God and great the glory of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and always and to [the ages. . .]' " .
Exorcist as a minor order. History and significance
As of present day, in the Orthodox Church, the office of an Exorcist no longer exists, but rather, all priests are required to be able to conduct an exorcism.
List of Saints
The following is a general list of Orthodox Saints whose intercession may be enlisted in prayer for healing, and against unclean spirits and mental disorders (listed in chronological order).
- Archangel Michael
- Anastasia the Deliverer from Potions
- Anthony the Great
- Marina of Antioch
- Cyprian and Justina
- Mathurin of Larchant
- Genevieve of Paris
- Theodore the Sykeote
- Gerasimos of Cephalonia
- Mitrophan of Voronezh
- Nectarios of Aegina
- Matrona of Moscow
- Luke (Voino-Yasenetsky) of Simferopol and Crimea
There are many books about exorcism and demonology that go to one extreme or another. These resources are some of the better ones we have found. As always, read with discretion.
- Archimandrite Vassilios Bakoyannis. Confronting the Devil, Magic & the Occult. Orthodox Book Centre, Athens 2003. 172 pp.
- Rev. George C. Papademetriou, Ph.D. Exorcism in the Orthodox Church. Goarch.org.
- Rev. George Mastrantonis. Exorcism. Goarch.org.
- Richard P H Greenfield. Traditions of Belief in Late Byzantine Demonology. Published by Adolf M. Hakkert, Amsterdam, 1988. (369 pp.) (ISBN 9025609627) (ISBN 9789025609627)
- (Comprehensive scholarly study; Greek text in several places; includes list of sources of the standard Orthodox tradition. Compares the standard Orthodox tradition to alternative traditions).
- Jean-Claude Larchet. Mental Disorders and Spiritual Healing: Teachings from the Early Christian East. 1st Ed. Transl. by G. John Champoux and Rama P. Coomaraswamy. Published by Sophia Perennis, July 2005. (ISBN 9781597310611)
- Irénée Hausherr. Spiritual Direction in the Early Christian East. Issue 116 of Cistercian studies series. Transl. by Anthony P. Gythiel; Foreword by Bp. Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia. Kalamazoo, Mich. : Cistercian Publications, 1990. ISBN 0879074167
Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens. "Οι σατανικές-καταστροφικές λατρείες και ο τρόπος προφύλαξης των παιδιών μας." Κοινωνία. ECCLESIA: ΔΙΑΔΙΚΤΥΑΚΟΣ ΟΙΚΟΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ. 1/1/2007.
Church of Greece. "Εγκύκλιος υπ. αρ. 2565: Περί νεοσατανισμού." Encyclical.
- (Full text of "The Roman Ritual" (1952 AD) included)
- Fr. Gabriele Amorth. An Exorcist Tells His Story. ISBN 0898707102
- (Fr. Amorth is an official exorcist of the diocese of Rome. His commentary and experience is certainly worth engaging).
- Fr. Gabriele Amorth. An Exorcist: More Stories. ISBN 0898709172
- Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea. Interview With an Exorcist: An Insider's Look at the Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance.
- Fr. J.L. Ashcraft (Traditional Byzantine Catholic, Sedevacantist, and Superior General of the Sacerdotal Society of St. Vincent of Lerins . ), (Ed.)Author of The Biblical Rite of Exorcism. ("The very first rite of exorcism to bring together the strengths of the Roman, Anglican, Orthodox and Evangelical movements approach to exorcism into one rite...; also the very first rite to mention the Watchers and Nephilim by name")
- Fr. Malachi Martin. Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans. 1976. Perennial Library (1987 reprint), New York, 1986. ISBN 0060971037, 2nd edition with a new preface by the author: Harper San Francisco, 1992, ISBN 006065337X
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church (s. 1673) has this to say about exorcism:
- When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism. Jesus performed exorcisms and from him the Church has received the power and office of exorcizing. [Cf. Mk 1:25-26; 3:15; 6:7, 13; 16:17.] In a simple form, exorcism is performed at the celebration of Baptism. The solemn exorcism, called "a major exorcism," can be performed only by a priest and with the permission of the bishop. The priest must proceed with prudence, strictly observing the rules established by the Church. Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.
- Michael O'Donnell. "Demonical Possession." The Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent). Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911.
Protestant & Other
- Dr. Kurt Koch (ThD) and Dr. Alfred Lechler. Occult Bondage and Deliverance: Advice for Counselling the Sick, the Troubled and the Occultly Oppressed. Transl. from the German and published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 1971. (198 pp.) ISBN 0825430062
- (By noted Lutheran German theologian, minister and evangelist Kurt E. Koch (1913-1987), along with psychiatrist Dr. Alfred Lechler, both well acquainted with the other's field; Dr Koch pastored in the state Lutheran Church as well as studied the occult and ministered to those suffering from demon afflication and the occult. His ministry took him to more than sixty-five countries on five continents).
- (A classic Protestant/Pentecostal work).
- Gerald Brittle. The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren.
- (Please read with caution. Note that the subjects (Ed and Lorraine Warren) are in the tradition of 'paranormal investigators').
- William Menzies Alexander. Demonic Possession in the New Testament: Its Relations Historical, Medical and Theological. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1902.
- Michael Streich. Demon Possession and Psychological Disorders: Differentiating Between Medieval Doctrine and Rational Science. Suite101.com. April 8, 2009.
- Stefano Ferracuti, Roberto Sacco, and Renato Lazzari. "Dissociative Trance Disorder: Clinical and Rorschach Findings in Ten Persons Reporting Demon Possession and Treated by Exorcism." In Journal of Personality Assessment, 1996, Vol 66, No. 3, pp.525-539.
- Hayward, Rhodri (Rhodri Lloyd). Demonology, Neurology, and Medicine in Edwardian Britain. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Volume 78, Number 1, Spring 2004. pp.37-58.
- (Explores the points of contact between the medical and demonological communities in order to demonstrate the contested nature of biomedical innovation. Keywords: demonology, psychiatry, neurology, germ theory, possession.)
O. H. Karahodina. Phenomenon of Religious Experience in the Structure of Feelings of Individuals with Mental Disturbances. Lik Sprava. January 2002, Issue 7, pp.32-36.
- (Eastern Orthodoxy; Emotions; Humans; Mental Disorders; Mental Healing; Psychometrics; Religion and Psychology; Ukraine)
- Prof. F. C. Conybeare. "The Demonology of the New Testament." The Jewish Quarterly Review. Vol. 8, No. 4 (Jul., 1896), pp. 576-608.
- Daniel Ogden. Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds. Oxford University Press, 2002.
- H. C. Erik Midelfort. “Johann Weyer and the Transformation of the Insanity Defense.” In: The German People and the Reformation. Ed. R. Po-Chia Hsia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988.
- Jonathan L. Pearl. French Catholic Demonologists and Their Enemies in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries. Church History. Vol.52, No.4, December 1983. pp.457-467.
- Prof. Charles Stewart. Demons and the Devil: Moral Imagination in Modern Greek Culture. Princeton University Press (Modern Greek Studies), NJ, 1991.
- (See chapters on Exorcism and Baptism).
- Sarah Ferber. Demonic Possession and Exorcism in Early Modern France. Routledge, 2004.
- Mark Bancroft, MA. The History & Psychology of Spirit Possession & Exorcism. EnSpire Press.
- Exorcism at CopperWiki.
- BBC News Online: World. Vatican issues new exorcism rules. January 27, 1999.
- Video of Russian Orthodox Exorcism
- News stories about the exorcism and death of a Romanian nun (see June 19 & 24, 2005).
- A Coptic Exorcist - An Exorcism preformed by a Coptic Orthodox priest, notice that some of those possesed are Muslims.
- A Coptic Exorcist part 2 - Another clips of a Coptic Orthodox priest performing an exorcism, many of the people present are Muslims. The young man confesses, "Jesus is Allah."
Roman Catholic Cases
- The Exorcism of Nicola Aubrey, (1565-1566), written by Fr Michael Müller.
- Anneliese Michel (+1976) at Wikipedia.
- Rev. Dr. Nicon D. Patrinacos (M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon)). A Dictionary of Greek Orthodoxy - Λεξικον Ελληνικης Ορθοδοξιας. Light & Life Publishing, Minnesota, 1984. pp.168-169.
- Professor Charles Stewart. Demons and the Devil: Moral Imagination in Modern Greek Culture. Princeton University Press (Modern Greek Studies), NJ, 1991. pp.292.
- Professor Charles Stewart. "Appendix 2 - Xiropotamou 98", in Demons and the Devil: Moral Imagination in Modern Greek Culture. Princeton University Press (Modern Greek Studies), NJ, 1991.pp.255-258.
- Rev. Dr. Nicon D. Patrinacos (M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon)). A Dictionary of Greek Orthodoxy - Λεξικον Ελληνικης Ορθοδοξιας. Light & Life Publishing, Minnesota, 1984.
- (Rev. Patrinacos was pastor at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis, Missouri, serving from 1950-53, in 1953 becoming Dean of Holy Cross Theological Seminary, Brookline, MA. (+1990).