Liturgical Spitting

Following up on my post on baptismal exorcism, I looked at the baptismal rite of the Orthodox Church in America, which I assume has its roots deep in 2000 years of Orthodox liturgy. The rite begins with 1100 words of exorcism divided into four prayers. At one point, the priest breathes on the candidate’s mouth, breast and brow in the form of a cross in order to expel any demonic presence.

The rite continues with renunciations, turnings and spitting on the devil.

The sponsors with the child (or the one to be baptized if he be an adult) turn about and face the West, with their backs to the priest. The priest then asks the following question three times:

Priest: Do you renounce Satan, and all his works, and all his angels, and all his service, and all his pride? (Three times)

And each time the sponsor, or the one to be baptized if he be an adult, answers:

Candidate: I do renounce him!

Priest: Have you renounced Satan? (Three times)

And each time the sponsor, or the one to be baptized if he be an adult, answers:

Candidate: I have renounced him!

Then the priest says:

Priest: Breathe and spit upon him!

The sponsors with the child (or adult) now turn about back to the East, and they stand facing the priest. The priest asks them three times:

Do you unite yourself to Christ? (Three times)

And each time the sponsor, or the one to be baptized if he be an adult, answers:

Candidate: I do unite myself to Christ.

Then the priest asks another question:

Priest: Have you united yourself to Christ?

Candidate: I have united myself to Christ.