—exorcismal /ek'sawr siz"meuhl, -seuhr/, exorcisory /ek"sawr suy"zeuh ree, -seuhr/, exorcistical, exorcistic, adj./ek"sawr siz'euhm, -seuhr-/, n.1. the act or process of exorcising.2. the ceremony or the formula used in exorcising: An elaborate exorcism was pronounced over the sick man.[1350-1400; ME exorcisme ( < OF) < ML < Gk exorkismós administration of an oath. See EXORCISE, -ISM]
* * *In Christianity, a ceremony used to drive demons out of a person they have possessed.Jesus healed people tormented by evil spirits, casting them out with a word, and his followers later drove out demons "in his name." By the 3rd century this task was assigned to a specially trained class of lower clergy. Rituals for exorcism of people and places also exist in many other traditions.
* * *▪ religionan adjuration addressed to evil spirits to force them to abandon an object, place, or person; technically, a ceremony used in both Jewish and Christian traditions to expel demons from persons who have come under their power. The rites and practices of preliterate people to ward off or to expel evil spirits are also a form of exorcism, though they are sometimes considered witchcraft.In the Christian tradition, Jesus (Jesus Christ) expelled demons by a word and stated that this act was a sign of the coming of God's Kingdom. His followers, and others as well, drove out demons “in his name.” In the first two centuries of the Christian era, the power of exorcism was considered a special gift that might be bestowed on anyone, lay or cleric. About AD 250, however, there appeared a special class of the lower clergy, called exorcists, to whom was entrusted this special function. About the same time, exorcism became one of the ceremonies preparatory to Baptism, and it has remained a part of the Roman Catholic (Roman Catholicism) baptismal service.The exorcism of persons possessed by demons is carefully regulated by canon law in the Roman Catholic church, and the elaborate rite is contained in the Roman ritual.
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