Last modified on 27 March 2014, at 01:36

Exorcism

Exorcism

Exorcism is the act of driving out or warding off demons from persons, places or things that are possessed or infested by them, or are liable to become victims or instruments of their malice. During the exorcism ritual, a solemn and authoritative adjuration of the demon is applied in the name of God or any of the higher powers to which the demon is subject.

Pad of Definitions (1.04 Phantom Traveler), Official Website

Rituale Romanum

One of the official books of the Roman Rite. The Rituale Romanum was first published in the 17th century under Pope Paul V and was left untouched until two minor revisions were added in 1952. The Rituale Romanum is the only formal exorcism rite sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church.

Pad of Definitions (1.04 Phantom Traveler), Official Website

Exorcisms in Supernatural episodes

Exorcisms are presented as having two parts. The first expels the demon from the occupied vessel (as black smoke) and the second sends the demon back to Hell (shown as the black smoke being sent downward leaving charred marks on the floor). The second part is not mandatory, or can be interrupted allowing the demon to escape and possess another meatsuit.

It's clear from what Sam Winchester says in 1.04 Phantom Traveler and 1.22 Devil's Trap that the boys skip the Invocatio and Psalms and jump directly to the exorcism proper. It is understandable, given that it's not as though they have all the time in the world, especially in "Phantom Traveler." It appears that the Supernatural production team/writers did a cut and paste from bits and pieces of at least one version of the ritual and possibly some other prayer(s).

When Sam first performs an exorcism in "Phantom Traveler" he reads a Rituale Romanum from John's Journal. However over time both Sam and Dean memorize the ritual.

The following is a direct line-by-line translation of the psalms for rites of exorcism and Rituale Romanum, with notations on differences observed in various episodes.

Psalm 68(67)
As spoken in Latin English Translation
Regna terrae, cantate Deo, psallite Domino

qui fertis ascendit*1 super caelum
caeli ad Orientem
Ecce dabit voci suae*2 vocem virtutis,
tribuite virtutem deo. *3

Kingdoms of Earth, sing to God, praises to the Lord

that you carry above the sky
of heaven to the east.
Behold, he sends forth his own voice, the voice of virtue,
Attribute the virtue to God.

1.04 Phantom Traveler

Rituale Romanum
As spoken in Latin English Translation
Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus

omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio
infernalis adversarii, omnis legio,
omnis congregatio et secta diabolica.
Ergo draco maledicte [*a]
et omnis legio diabolica
adjuramus te.
Cessa decipere humanas creaturas,
eisque aeternae Perditionis venenum propinare.

Vade, Satana, inventor et magister
omnis fallaciae, hostis humanae salutis.
Humiliare sub potenti manu dei,
contremisce et effuge, invocato a
nobis sancto et terribili nomine,
quem inferi tremunt.

Ab insidiis diaboli, libera nos, Domine.
Ut Ecclesiam tuam secura tibi facias libertate servire
te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut inimicos sanctae Ecclesiae humiliare digneris,
te rogamus, audi nos. [*b]

Terribilis Deus de sanctuario suo.
Deus Israhel ipse truderit virtutem
et fortitudinem plebi Suae.
Benedictus deus. Gloria patri.

We exorcise you, every impure spirit

every satanic power, every incursion
of the infernal adversary, every legion
every congregation and diabolical sect.
Thus cursed demon
and every diabolical legion
we adjure you.
Cease to deceive human creatures
and to give to them the poison of eternal Perdition.

Go away, Satan, the inventor and master
of all deceit, the enemy of humanity's salvation.
Be humble under the powerful hand of god
tremble and flee -- I invoke by
us the sacred and terrible name
at which those down below tremble.

From the snares of the devil, free us, lord.
So that you may make your Church safe to serve you freely,
we ask you, hear us.
So that you may destroy the enemies of your sacred Church,
we ask you, hear us!

God is frightening about his own sacred place.
The God of Israel Himself will have thrust excellence
and strength to His Own people.
Blessed be God. Glory be to the Father.

Sam recites this exorcism to exorcise the disaster-causing demon from the co-pilot. The demon flees its meatsuit on its own, but remains in the plane and tries to cause it to crash. Sam manages to finish the exorcism and send the demon back to Hell, saving the plane and everyone on it.

*1 "ascendit" in most versions of the psalm, but it is very clearly something more like "fertis" in the episodes.
*2 In the hymn, it is "suae;" Dean clearly says "suum," but that would be incorrect according to Latin grammar.
*3 There is also a 17th century hymn called "Regna Terrae, Cantate Deo," which uses the same Latin words as this part of the ritual.
[*a] In "Devil's Trap," the rest of this next line and more is mostly unintelligible - however, this is what was lifted in between "ergo" and "perditionis" (which begins the next part that Sam says clearly) from the Rituale Romanum online: draco maledicte et omnis legio diabolica adjuramus te per Deum + vivum, per Deum + verum, per Deum + sanctum, per Deum, qui sic dilexit mundum, ut Filium suum unigenitum daret, ut omnis, qui credit in eum, non pereat, sed habeat vitam aeternae (with everything in between that cut out and Sam maybe picking it up here) cessa decipere humanas creaturas, eisque aeternae... (because there was not time for Sam to say all of that; they must have edited a bit, and what Bobby says in the "Born Under A Bad Sign" version seems to support this way of editing the original Catholic ritual.
[*b] Sam pauses when possessed Meg starts talking. When he starts the ritual again, he says Ut inimicos sanctae Ecclesiae, but without humiliare digneris there is no verb, it only means "So that ... the enemies of the sacred Church".
[*c] The section following this notation was difficult to understand, it sounds like Sam says "in nominis deus" but the cases are all wrong for that to be correct. "in nominis deus" loosely means "The god of the name in". "In nomine dei" would be correct, meaning "in the name of god," but the "-is" and "-us" are pretty clear, so it may be that Sam said something else entirely. Everything else matches up with some Latin versions of verse 36(35 of some) of Psalm 68(67), which would match with the "regna terrae" part of the ritual which is from the same Psalm.

1.22 Devil's Trap

recited by Sam Winchester
As spoken in Latin English Translation
Regna terrae, cantate Deo,

psallite Domino
qui fertis super caelum
caeli ad Orientem
Ecce dabit voci Suae
vocem virtutis,
tribuite virtutem Deo.

Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus
omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio
infernalis adversarii, omnis legio,
omnis congregatio et secta diabolica.

Ergo draco maledicte
et omnis legio diabolica adjuramus te.
cessa decipere humanas creaturas,
eisque aeternae Perditionis venenum propinare. [*a see above]

Vade, Satana, inventor et magister
omnis fallaciae, hostis humanae salutis.
Humiliare sub potenti manu dei,
contremisce et effuge, invocato a
nobis sancto et terribili nomine,
quem inferi tremunt.

Ab insidiis diaboli, libera nos, Domine.
Ut Ecclesiam tuam secura tibi facias
libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut inimicos sanctae Ecclesiae humiliare digneris,
te rogamus, audi nos.

Ut inimicos sanctae Ecclesiae
te rogamus, audi nos. [*b see above]

Terribilis Deus de sanctuario suo. [*c see above]
Deus Israhel ipse truderit virtutem
et fortitudinem plebi Suae.
Benedictus Deus. Gloria Patri.

Kingdoms of the Earth, sing unto God,

Praises to the Lord
that carry above the sky
of heaven to the East.
Behold, He sends forth His Own Voice,
the Voice of Virtue.
Attribute the Virtue to God.

We exorcise you, every impure spirit,
every satanic power, every incursion
of the infernal adversary, every legion,
every congregation and diabolical sect.

Thus, cursed demon
and every diabolical legion, we adjure you.
Cease to deceive human creatures,
and to give to them the Poison of Eternal Perdition.

Go away, Satan, inventor and master
of all deceit, enemy of humanity's salvation.
Be humble under the Powerful Hand of God --
tremble and flee -- I invoke by
us the Sacred and Terrible Name
at which those down below tremble.

From the snares of the devil, free us, Lord.
So that You may make Your Church safe to serve You freely
we ask You, hear us.
So that You may destroy the enemies of Your Sacred Church,
we ask You, hear us!

That ... the enemies of Your Sacred Church
we ask You, hear us!

God is frightening about His Own sacred place.
The God of Israel Himself will have thrust excellence
and strength to His Own people.
Blessed be God. Glory be to the Father.

After learning that Meg Masters is actually possessed by a demon, Dean has Sam recite this exorcism to try to compel the demon to tell them where to find their father. The pain the exorcism causes makes the demon tell them, but despite the fact that it will result in Meg's death due to injuries sustained in Chicago, Dean has Sam finish the exorcism to put Meg out of her misery. The demon is exorcised and Meg eventually dies after thanking them for freeing her.

2.08 Crossroad Blues

recited by Dean Winchester
As spoken in Latin English Translation
Regna terrae, cantate Deo,

psallite Domino'
qui fertis super caelum
caeli ad Orientem
Ecce dabit voci Suae
vocem virtutis,
tribuite virtutem Deo.

Deus caeli, Deus terrae,
humiliter majestati gloriae Tuae supplicamus
ut ab omni infernalium spirituum potestate,
laqueo, deceptione et nequitia,
omnis fallaciae, libera nos, Domine.

Vade, Satana, inventor et magister
omnis fallaciae, hostis humanae salutis.
Humiliare sub potenti manu Dei-- [Dean stops]

Kingdoms of the Earth, sing unto God,

Praises to the Lord
that carry above the sky
of heaven to the East.
Behold, He sends forth His Own Voice,
the Voice of Virtue.
Attribute the Virtue to God.

God of Heaven, God of the Earth,
humbly by the majesty of Your Glory we implore
that from every power of the infernal spirits,
from their snare, their deception and their wickedness,
from every deceit, free us, Lord.

Go away, Satan, inventor and master
of all deceit, enemy of humanity's salvation.
Be humble under the Powerful Hand of God--[Dean stops]

The later half, beginning Deus caeli, Deus terrae through the end, is from the Rituale Romanum.

Dean recited this exorcism after capturing the crossroads demon, but stopped when it agreed to release Evan Hudson from his deal.

2.14 Born Under a Bad Sign

recited by Bobby Singer
As spoken in Latin English Translation
Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus

omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio
infernalis adversarii, omnis legio,
omnis congregatio et secta diabolica.

Ergo draco maledicte
et omnis legio diabolica adjuramus te.
cessa decipere humanas creaturas,
eisque aeternae Perditionis venenum propinare. [pause]
Humiliare sub potenti manu Dei--

We exorcise you, every impure spirit,

every satanic power, every incursion
of the infernal adversary, every legion,
every congregation and diabolical sect.

Thus cursed demon
and every diabolical legion, we adjure you.
Cease to deceive human creatures,
and to give to them the Poison of Eternal Perdition. [pause]
Be humble under the Powerful Hand of God--

After Sam is possessed by Meg, Bobby starts reciting this exorcism to save him. However, he doesn't complete the recitation of this ritual because it proves ineffective as Meg has trapped herself inside Sam using a Binding Link.

3.01 The Magnificent Seven

After capturing Envy, one of the Seven Deadly Sins, Tamara exorcises him. His meatsuit Walter Rosen doesn't survive. Bobby Singer later traps and exorcises Sloth and after everything is over, exorcises Wrath and Lust. The meatsuits of Sloth and Lust survive the exorcism.

3.04 Sin City

After luring Casey into a devil's trap, Dean attempts to exorcise her, but she casts a spell that collapses the basement they are in and destroys the book he is using for the exorcism. Dean is unable to recite the exorcism from memory and is left in a situation where both he and Casey are trapped until Sam can arrive and exorcise her or her partner can free her. Ultimately Sam kills her with the Colt instead.

3.12 Jus in Bello

recited by Sam Winchester
As spoken in Latin English Translation
Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus

omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio
infernalis adversarii, omnis legio,
omnis congregatio et secta diabolica.
Ergo draco maledicte
et omnis legio diabolica adjuramus te.
cessa decipere humanas creaturas,
eisque aeternae Perditionis venenum propinare.
Vade, Satana, inventor et magister
omnis fallaciae, hostis humanae salutis.
Humiliare sub potenti manu dei,
contremisce et effuge, invocato a
nobis sancto et terribili nomine,
quem inferi tremunt.
Ab insidiis diaboli, libera nos, Domine.
Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus
omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio
infernalis adversarii,omnis legio,
omnis congregatio et secta diabolica.
Ergo draco maledicte
et omnis legio diabolica
adjuramus te.
Cessa decipere humanas creaturas,
eisque aeternae Perditionis venenum propinare.
Ut Ecclesiam tuam secura tibi facias libertate servire
te rogamus, audi nos.

We exorcise you, every impure spirit,

every satanic power, every incursion
of the infernal adversary, every legion,
every congregation and diabolical sect.
Thus, cursed demon
and every diabolical legion, we adjure you.
Cease to deceive human creatures,
and to give to them the Poison of Eternal Perdition.
Go away, Satan, inventor and master
of all deceit, enemy of humanity's salvation.
Be humble under the Powerful Hand of God --
tremble and flee -- I invoke by
us the Sacred and Terrible Name
at which those down below tremble.
From the snares of the devil, free us, Lord.
We exorcise you, every impure spirit,
every satanic power, every incursion
of the infernal adversary every legion
every congregation and diabolical sect.
Thus cursed demon
and every diabolical legion
we adjure you.
So that you may make your Church safe to serve you freely,
we ask you, hear us.

Sam records the exorcism and then plays it over the loudspeaker in the police station once they trap all the demons inside. Around 30 demons are exorcised by this. Sam also attempts to exorcise Steven Groves and fails when the demon flees his body, but succeeds in exorcising Victor Henriksen.

3.14 Long-Distance Call

The exorcism attempted by Dean in this episode was different than others used in previous episodes.

Dean says: "Crux sancta sit mihi lux non draco..."

The full exorcism, as well as information about its usual use, can be found at Wikipedia, here

Dean uses this to try to kill the demon that supposedly holds his deal but stops when the man exits the devil's trap, proving that he is human.

3.15 Time Is On My Side

Sam and Dean capture a demon and torture him information on the demon that holds Dean's deal. When he refuses to tell them, they exorcise him. His meatsuit doesn't survive.

Season 4

Throughout season 4 Sam exorcises demons with his psychic powers.

4.16 On the Head of a Pin

Alastair, during his fight with Castiel proceeds to recite a Latin incantation that would have ejected Castiel from his vessel. However he is stopped by Sam Winchester before the "angel exorcism" could be completed.

recited by Alastair
As spoken in Latin English Translation
Omni potentis Dei potestatem invoco,

omni potentis Dei potestatem invoco,

abrogo terra,

hoc angelorum in obse quentum,

Domine expuere,
Domine expuere,

unde abeo Dei per...

I call upon all of the mighty power of God,

I call upon all of the mighty power of God,

remove from this earth,

the angels in the service of the following,

Lord eject,
Lord eject,

through God depart from whence....

5.06 I Believe The Children Are Our Future

In 1997, a demon possessed Julia Wright for nine months, impregnating her with a Cambion that was later named Jesse Turner. Julia managed to exorcise the demon by ingesting road salt which the demon was vulnerable to. In 2009, the same demon possessed Julia again to find Jesse and turn him evil, but after Sam convinced Jesse to do the right thing, he exorcised the demon with his powers.

5.12 Swap Meat

recited by Dean Winchester and Gary
As spoken in Latin English Translation
Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus,

omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii,
omnis congregatio et secta diabolica.

Ergo, draco maledicte.
Ecclesiam tuam securi tibi facias libertate servire,
te rogamus, audi nos.

We exorcise you, every impure spirit,

every satanic power, every incursion of the infernal adversary,
every congregation and diabolical sect.

Therefore, cursed demon
You may make your Church safe to serve you freely,
we ask you, hear us.

After failing to kill the demon that possesses Nora with Ruby's knife, Gary starts an exorcism and he and Dean trade off phrases of this ritual. Dean concludes with "adios, bitch" and Gary corrects him to "audi nos". The demon is exorcised and Nora is saved.

5.14 My Bloody Valentine

After a demon fails him, Famine exorcises it with his powers and consumes it. He later offers a high on demon blood Sam the opportunity to consume the blood of five more demons, but he exorcises them with his own powers instead. After Famine absorbs the demons and Sam's powers have no effect against the Horseman, Sam exorcises the demons from Famine, defeating him.

6.21 Let It Bleed

recited by Dean Winchester
As spoken in Latin English Translation
Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus,

omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii,
omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica.

Ergo, draco maledicte.
Ecclesiam tuam securi tibi facias libertate servire,
te rogamus, audi nos.

We exorcise you, every impure spirit,

every satanic power, every incursion of the infernal adversary,
every legion, every congregation and diabolical sect.

Therefore, cursed demon
You may make your Church safe to serve you freely,
we ask you, hear us.

When kidnapped by Crowley, Lisa Braeden is possessed by a demon. This is the exorcism Dean recites from memory to exorcise it. The demon makes Lisa stab herself to try to force Dean not to finish it, but he does anyway. Lisa survives but is mortally wounded until Castiel heals her.

7.15 Repo Man

Dean exorcises the demon possessing Jeffrey.

Nora Havelock exorcises the demon possessing her son. Jeffrey tries to intervene and Dean is forced to kill him. The demon is exorcised once again and Nora's son is saved.

8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy?

When the demon possessing Eunice tries to flee, Sam recites the reverse of an exorcism to force the demon back into her body, allowing Dean to kill her with Ruby's knife, preventing her from reporting to Crowley. Sam later stated that he didn't know it would work, he just thought it was worth a try.

8.12 As Time Goes By

When Abaddon attacks the Men of Letters in 1958, one tries to exorcise the demon but she proves immune to the exorcism and kills him.

8.22 Clip Show

recited by Father Max Thompson
As spoken in Latin English Translation
Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus...

hanc animam redintegra...
lustratus!
lustratus!

We exorcise you, every impure spirit...

Fix this soul...
purified!
purified!

Looking through the Bunker's archives, Sam and Dean find a film where two priests, Father Max Thompson and Father Simon try a different type of exorcism on a possessed old woman. The result is that the woman's chest is burst open. Talking to the Father Simon, they discover that Father Thompson believed it was possible to cure a demon and turn them human again and the ritual was being used to that effect but failed. Listening to a recording of the last attempt Father Thompson made before he died, Sam and Dean learn that he finally succeeded by, on consecrated ground, injecting a demon with his own blood, purified by confession, over a period of eight hours until the demon began to sound human then performed the exorcism while putting his bloody hand over the demon's mouth. The demon became human again and Sam and Dean decide to try it on Abaddon as part of the third trial to close the Gates of Hell, but she escapes before they can.

8.23 Sacrifice

After capturing Crowley, Sam and Dean take him to an abandoned church to use Father Max Thompson's new exorcism to cure him and complete the third trial. After Dean leaves with Castiel to work on the trials to seal Heaven, Sam makes confession in the church's confessional to purify his blood. Over the course of eight hours, Sam injects Crowley with his purified blood. Abaddon briefly interrupts, but Sam drives her off and continues. Crowley starts showing signs of humanity and after the eight hours are up, Sam performs the exorcism, but before he can put his bloody hand over Crowley's mouth and complete it to cure him, Dean arrives, having learned from Naomi that Sam will die if he completes the trials. Sam initially wants to continue, but Dean talks him down and Sam lets go of the trials, causing the glowing that appeared in his arms when he did the exorcism to disappear.

9.02 Devil May Care

When a crossroads demon questions her, Abaddon exorcises the demon with just a touch, telling her to warn all the demons in Hell that "she" is coming.

9.11 First Born

Searching for information on the First Blade, Dean and Crowley learn that John Winchester and a hunter named Tara captured, interrogated and exorcised a demon who told them about it.

9.16 Blade Runners

After capturing Snooki in a devil's trap and learning she is a demon and knows nothing of where Crowley is, Sam exorcises her to her annoyance.

9.17 Mother's Little Helper

In 1958, Henry Winchester and Josie Sands confront four demons that are kidnapping people and stealing their souls. Henry and Josie each exorcise one of the demons, but Abaddon proves to be immune to the exorcism and possesses Josie to infiltrate the Men of Letters. She has the last demon, Sister Agnes, pretend to be exorcised so she can trick Henry.

In the present, while fighting Sister Agnes, Sam starts reciting an exorcism. Agnes chokes him, but Sam activates a recorded exorcism on his phone and tosses it away, causing Agnes to let go and crawl across the floor to the phone in a desperate attempt to stop the exorcism. She succeeds in smashing the phone just in time, but the exorcism distracts her long enough for Sam to kill her with Ruby's Knife.

Exorcisms in established Religion

Generally speaking one doesn't need to be an ordained priest to perform an exorcism. Documents specify that exorcisms can be practiced by anyone, though it is preferable that a priest or someone ordained by the Esorcistato (order dedicated to the study and practice of Exorcism) would perform it.

The proper ritual should include: INVOCATIO - PSALMS - EXORCISM (a prayer, psalms and the exorcism proper). The invocatio can be to minor powers than God, for example Saint Michael the Archangel.

Excerpt from the invocatio
Original Latin English Translation
Priinceps gloriosissime cælestis militiæ, sancte Michaël Archangele, defende nos in prælio et colluctatione, quæ nobis adversus principes et potestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum, contra spiritualia nequitiæ, in cælestibusus. Veni in auxilium hominum, quos Deus creavit inexterminabiles, et ad imaginem similitudinis suæ fecit, et a tyrannide diaboli emit pretio magno. Most glorious prince of the divine army, Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in this fight of ours against the hostile princes and powers, against those that want to govern the world in the darkness, against the negativity of all things spiritual. Do come to help men, those that God created in great number, those that He made in his image, and with great (effort) free (them) by the tyranny of the devil.

Text from a past Geocities website author states:

"Flagellum Daemonum exorcismos terribiles potentissimo et efficace" by Hieronimo Mengo, XVI century Friar Girolamo Menghi was one of the most authoritative exorcists, both in practice and in theory. His Flagello Daemonum is a practical manual to teach how to cross-interrogate demons in order to obtain information, and gives precise instructions on what to do and say to exorcise the demons. The manual soon became a precious point of reference for exorcists. Friar Menghi wrote that since Christ delegated his power to the exorcist, therefore the exorcists were not just equal but superior to the demons.