Exorcism is an order for a demon to leave the body of a person, animal, thing or place, given in the name of God. This is a form of blessing or sacramentaly that is performed by a priest over a person in certain situations and needs.
Exorcism includes several types of actions. The goals and methods of exorcism may be different, but in any case, this action is performed according to the instructions of the Roman ritual.
Solemn or great and public exorcism is best known, in particular for films and literature. The purpose of such an exorcism is to completely drive out the demon from the possessed person and then get rid of any demonic influences. Such an exorcism is carried out by the local Ordinary (a clergyman with a certain form of authority, most often a bishop). Any priest can become an exorcist if he acts on the basis of permission from the Ordinary of the diocese. The solemn exorcism takes place in an isolated location, such as a chapel, where there are many sacred images and icons. In addition to the Ordinary priest himself, other priests and secular persons can participate in the exorcism, whose task is to pray for the possessed person; these participants are prohibited from pronouncing the exorcism formulas. The procedure can take anywhere from a few minutes to hours, during which the Ordinary uses certain formulations of the order to force the demon to leave the human body. As a rule, the exorcism is performed several times.
Private or small exorcisms are called prayers that are performed by all believers in moments of torment and temptation from the evil one. It is customary to refer to minor exorcisms as intercessory prayers and prayers for deliverance, which can be used by religious communities under the leadership of a deacon or priest. In the literal sense of the word, such prayers are not exorcisms, they cannot be used if a person in need of help turns out to be possessed. In this case, it is necessary to turn to a solemn exorcism.
The use of consecrated oil, water, salt, or censer by any believer in appropriate situations is also considered an exorcism. Moreover, all these items can be consecrated by an ordinary priest, not necessarily an exorcist.
Knowledge of good and evil spirits that infiltrated people, and the methods of expelling them, existed in most polytheistic religions long before the advent of Christianity. Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the first exorcist. He healed a possessed man who lived in tombs, and the demons who flew out of him by the order of Jesus killed a herd of pigs, having possessed them, thanks to this their power over people ceased. Christians believe that thanks to the gift of exorcism, which God endowed with some saints, they could drive out evil spirits from people.