Is an exorcism performed during the Rite of Baptism?
PRAYER OF EXORCISM
- After the invocation, the celebrant says:
Almighty and ever-living God,
you sent your only Son into the world
to cast out the power of Satan, spirit of evil,
to rescue man from the kingdom of darkness,
and bring him into the splendor of your kingdom of light.
We pray for this child:
set him (her) free from original sin,
make him (her) a temple of your glory,
and send your Holy Spirit to dwell with him (her).
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
However, it is important to remember that an exorcism does not necessarily mean that someone is *possessed *by a demon. A prayer of exorcism is simply a prayer asking for deliverance from evil. Every time we pray the Our Father, we say a prayer of exorcism (“deliver us from evil”). In the case of baptism the exorcism prayer is due to the fact that the child, until the actual baptism, has been subject to original sin (CCC 1237). As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes:
This did not imply that they were considered to be obsessed, like demoniacs, but merely that they were, in consequence of original sin (and of personal sins in case of adults), subject more or less to the power of the devil, whose “works” or “pomps” they were called upon to renounce, and from whose dominion the grace of baptism was about to deliver them. Exorcism in this connection is a symbolical anticipation of one of the chief effects of the sacrament of regeneration