An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


The driving out of evil spirits from persons or places with authority derived from Christ. The NT records exorcisms performed by Jesus, e.g., Mk 5:1-13, and by the apostles, e.g., Acts 16:18. The BOS does not provide a rite of exorcism, but it gives these guidelines: “Those who find themselves in need of such a ministry should make the fact known to the bishop, through their parish priest, in order that the bishop may determine whether exorcism is needed, who is to perform the rite, and what prayers or other formularies are to be used.” Liturgies of the Episcopal Church retain elements of exorcism. Following an ancient tradition, several prayers of the catechumenate call for release from the powers of evil. More commonly, spiritual cleansing and deliverance is the practice of those who pray, “Deliver us from evil.”

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.