RCIA 91-93: More on Minor Exorcisms

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Three important “regulations” on these minor exorcisms are given:

91. The presiding celebrant for the minor exorcisms is a priest, a deacon, or a qualified catechist appointed by the bishop for this ministry. (see RCIA 16)

92. The minor exorcisms take place within a celebration of the word of God held in a church, a chapel, or in a center for the catechumenate. A minor exorcism may also be held at the beginning or end of a meeting for catechesis. When there is some special need, one of these prayers of exorcism may be said privately for individual catechumens.

93. The formularies for the minor exorcisms may be used on several occasions, as different situations may suggest.

Commentary:

The ministry of the minor exorcism is intertwined with the Church’s apostolate of reconciliation, so it’s not surprising the priest is the first choice as a presiding minister. That deacons and laypeople appointed by the bishop are permitted to exercise this presidency, is probably a concession for mission countries.

The yoking with the Liturgy of the Word also speaks of the gravity of this rite. Though called “minor,” they are properly celebrated in churches or chapels. The third choice of a “catechumenate center” is also a likely concession to mission situations. If the minor exorcism is being celebrated in a parish, I would think that if the church is available, it would be used.

Roman pragmatism is in evidence, anticipating some personal need by an individual catechumen: in this case, the prayer may be utilized. I read this exception as including Scripture or not, as determined by the priest, deacon, or catechist.

RCIA 94 gives eleven options–and in these options the rubrics don’t include the condition, “in these or other words.” The prayers are well-worded, have the occasional allusion to Scripture, and have different nuances in the petitions to God to save from evil, enlighten hearts, show mercy, etc..

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, RCIA, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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