What’s an Exorcism?

posted: 11/21/16
by: Sasha Brown-Worsham
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The idea of demonic possession is not just the plot in a horror movie. Throughout the world, families call on the services of priests and clergy to help rid someone they love of demons they claim are possessing them.

The word exorcism comes from the Greek word for oath, "exousia." Hence, the wording commonly used in exorcisms on the big screen that the power "compels you." They are being cast out of the body in which they are housed. Demonic possession can take many forms, including strange or violent behavior or actions that might otherwise be considered mental illness.

The rite is most commonly performed by a priest who commands the demon to leave with words such as: "in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

There have been documented cases of real exorcisms that have worked. Whether or not it was demonic possession or the power of suggestion, no one knows. But the Vatican does have an official policy on the rite, thus lending it a bit more legitimacy.

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