Our Roles as Laity in the Exorcism Ministry
Both the ordained and the non-ordained members of the Church should work together in our daily spiritual battle against Satan and all the evil spirits who work day and night in order to lead us away from eternal happiness of heaven. So they disturb us, tempt us, and even possess some of us to redirect our focus to other things but God. God and his angels, in response, gives the Church all the graces and the means to destroy evil through the sacraments and sacramentals of which one is exorcism.
The Three Types of Catholic Exorcisms
(1) A simple exorcism are done by invoking the name of Jesus Christ to make evil spirits leave a person, place, or and object. Simple exorcisms are mostly done by Catholic priests when there is a demonic obsession, demonic oppression, and demonic infestation of objects and places. Before and during baptisms, a series of simple exorcisms are performed for the catechumenates so that any evil spirits in and around them would abandon them. Simple Exorcisms also are done by Catholic priests when they bless sacramentals like salt, water, oil, candles, incense, bells, etc.
(2) Major exorcisms are performed only when there is a verified cases of demonic possession using the Roman Ritual of Exorcism like what we normally see in the movies (not exactly because movies are fiction). Only Catholic Priest who are trained for exorcism can perform major exorcisms. He strictly needs to follow the ritual prescribed by the Church when performing such major exorcisms.
(3) Deliverance Prayers can be performed by baptized Catholics (non-priests) over a person, object, or a place. The layperson delivers that evil spirits away from them by the name of Jesus Christ or by imploring God with the intercession of his Holy Angels and Saints. The layperson makes use of the sacramentals blessed by the priests through simple exorcisms.
The Catholic Church’s Warning
Only Catholic priest-exorcists (or deliverance ministers in very special cases) can perform exorcisms. The Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism says:
The Catholic Church warns the faithful who have no spiritual authority over those vexed by evil spirits in performing “exorcisms” as these would agitate the demons if they are indeed present and will open the person to virulent retaliations. (cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Inde Ab Aliquot Annis: On the Current Norms Governing Exorcisms, #3. 20 Sept 1984).
The Role of the Laity
(1) For any suspicious or potential demonic oppression, possession, or infestation, the layperson should ask a priest’s advise on the next actions that need to be done.
(2) The layperson can help avoid or minimize the instances of demonic activities in their localities through deliverance prayers and making use of exorcised-blessed sacramentals. A lay faithful can use them on themselves, their families, and their properties. Imagine if all Catholics do this, any activities of Satan will disappear in the place and there will be no more temptations, no more sins, no more demonic activities. The Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism says:
As with Holy Water and Blessed Salt, the lay faithful can use Exorcised Blessed Oil freely on their person, family, and property. They use it while invoking God to grant them healing and protection. They can also use it on others if they are asked to pray for them by the persons concerned. However, lay use of this exorcised blessed oil for prayers of healing should never be confused or substitute for the priestly prayers of healing connected with the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick. During deliverance of a place or home or object led by a priest, the laypeople can be tasked to anoint walls, doors, windows, and objects like mirrors as the priest does the prayer of exorcism or deliverance. In this case, it is the priest who does the deliverance and blessing prayers and requests the lay faithful to assist him in the exercise of the ministry at that moment
Some Sacramentals We Should Have at Home
To protect ourselves, our families, and properties from evil spirits, the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism suggests we should try to have some of these sacramentals at home. We need them in our spiritual battle against Satan and all his works. Other items here are used only by the Ministry of Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism.
|Sign of the Cross||“Ĭn nōmine Pătris ĕt Fīliī ĕt Spīritūs Sānctī, āmēn.”” or its vernacular translation.|
|Holy Water||You can get holy water from your parish or ask a priest to bless it.|
|Exorcised-Blessed Salt||Rock or sea salt|
|Exorcised-Blessed Oil||Pure Olive Oil (or pure Virgin olive oil)|
|Exorcised-Blessed Medals of St. Benedict|
|Crucifix||Preferably Saint Benedict’s cross|
|Purple Stole of Priest|
|First and Second-Class Relics of Saints|
|Rosary, Brown Scapular, Miraculous Medal, Rose of the Rosary|
|Blessed Icons, Statues, Images, Medallions (from approved devotions and apparitions only)|
|White Cord of St. Joseph|
Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!