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Exorcism

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'''Exorcism''' (Greek: ''Εξορκισμος'') is the rite of [[prayer]] which expels [[demon]]s 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 [[baptism]]al 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."<ref>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.</ref>
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