(CNN)You know things are bad in Congress when the chaplain's morning prayer on the House floor sounds like an exorcism.
On Thursday, the Rev. Patrick Conroy told members of Congress it has been a "difficult and contentious week in which darker spirits seem to have been at play in the people's house."
"In Your most holy name, I now cast out all spirits of darkness from this chamber, spirits not from You," continued Conroy, a Jesuit priest who has been chaplain of the House of Representatives since 2011. As he prayed, Conroy closed his eyes and raised his hands in supplication.
House Chaplain Pat Conroy’s opening prayer: "This has been a difficult and contentious week in which darker spirits seem to have been at play in the people's house. In Your most holy name, I now cast out all spirits of darkness from this chamber, spirits not from You."
In a brief interview afterward, Conroy said the echo was intentional. But he added that his prayer, which he wrote himself, was more inspired by traditional blessings for homes or other buildings.
"Anoint your servants here in the House with a healing balm to comfort and renew the souls of all in this assembly," Conroy prayed. "May your spirit of wisdom and patience descend upon all so that any spirit of darkness might have no place in our midst."
The idea for the prayer came to him, the chaplain said, after Tuesday's contentious House vote to condemn as racist President Donald Trump's tweets telling four Democrat congresswomen to "go back" to their home countries. Three were born in the United States, the fourth is a naturalized citizen.
"I was on the House floor on Tuesday," Conroy told CNN, "and to me, it felt different than other days. It felt like there was something going on beyond just political disagreement. The energy of the House was very off. No one was relishing what was happening."