the old bell book and candle -- means what?

I saw this phrase on another thread. Apparently a Britishism but I haven’t a clue to the meaning.

It was a play by one John Van Druten back in the 1950s.

A play about:


woo woo . . . .

for more information:

“Bell, Book and Candle” usually refers to the rite of excommunication within the Catholic Church. Other references derive from that. Cecil did something on this:

The Master has addressed the formal rite of excommunication, here (at the end of the article):

How do I go about getting excommunicated?

Apologies, jmullaney, it was I who used the phrase in the other thread (concerning possession of cannabis) as a silly joke about exorcism in cases of “possession” by the devil. Still, it seems as though explanations have been made already, for which I am glad, as it must have looked very strange in the context! General Questions is pretty impressive.