The E-word

The prayers for the Elect start off the Scrutinies.  They’re simple and beautiful.  The sort of prayers you would expect for people who are preparing for Baptism. 

And then there’s an exorcism. 

Part of the fun of being Catholic is the often amazing gap between what people think we believe and do and what we actually believe and do.  When you use the e-word, people usually think of one particular type of exorcism, with images from the movies. 

Not only are the movie images off-target (even for that type of exorcism), but there isn’t just one type.  The exorcism in the Scrutinies is a minor exorcism, a prayer that someone (here the Elect) be freed and protected from the power of Satan - which is the whole point of any exorcism. 

So after Mass this weekend, you can tell people you’ve been to an exorcism.  A real one, with hundreds of witnesses.  And it’s nothing like the movies. 

More on this tomorrow.