RCIA is not going all seventies-freaky here. Here’s how the Church describes exorcisms, in four points:
90. The first or minor exorcisms have been composed in the form of petitions directly addressed to God. They draw the attention of the catechumens to …
- the real nature of Christian life,
- the struggle between flesh and spirit,
- the importance of self-denial for reaching the blessedness of God’s kingdom,
- and the unending need for God’s help.
Let’s jump ahead to one of the prayer texts:
God of power,
who promised us the Holy Spirit through Jesus your Son,
we pray to you for these catechumens,
who present themselves before you.
Protect them from the spirit of evil
and guard them against error and sin,
so that they may become the temple of your Holy Spirit.
Confirm what we profess in faith,
so that our words may not be empty,
but full of grace and power
by which your Son has freed the world.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
These minor exorcisms prefigure the ones celebrated on Sundays in Lent. They have the same purpose, though to draw out the need to pray for God’s grace, and to assist catechumens in the recognition and avoidance of sin. These minor exorcisms are addressed to either God the Father or to Christ. Eleven options are given in RCIA 94. We’ll look at specifics of their celebration in the next post.