The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is publishing a volume of prayers drawn from the appendix of the first official English-language translation of the ritual book on the rite of Exorcism. It is entitled Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness.
Father Andrew Menke, executive director of the USCCB’s Secretariat for Divine Worship, notes that these prayers can strengthen and assist anyone who prays them. “The book is meant to facilitate a very reflective kind of prayer,” says Father Menke. “It’s meant to be a meditative, patient, trusting, quiet sort of prayer.”
Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness is a small booklet that can be purchased through the USCCB’s online bookstore, http://store.usccb.org/.
The USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship is also announcing the release of the first official English-language translation of the ritual book, Exorcisms and Related Supplications. The book will only be distributed to bishops. Others who have a legitimate use for it, such as exorcists, clergy, scholars and seminary professors, will need to obtain a copy through their bishop.
“Some priests might not be all that comfortable using a Latin text, so having it available in the vernacular now means they can concentrate on prayer and on the ritual, without needing to worry about working in another language,” says Father Menke. “This should make it easier for bishops to find priests who can help them with this important ministry. Another benefit of the vernacular translation is that hearing the prayers in English can also bring comfort to the person undergoing an exorcism.”
Drawing from rituals used by the Catholic Church for centuries, the English translation has been prepared from the rite that was revised following the Second Vatican Council. Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of the exorcist to choose which language to use during the rite.
It is important to note that under canon law (Canon 1172), only those priests who receive permission from their bishops can perform an exorcism, after proper training. Bishops automatically have the right to perform an exorcism and can share that authority with other priests.
Each of the texts affirms the reality of evil in the world and also the sovereignty of Jesus to overcome any and all evil on a personal level and in the world.