Congregation of Ceremonies

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Pope Sixtus V, founder of the Congregation of Ceremonies

The Sacred Congregation of Ceremonies was a dicastery of the Roman Curia that was charged with the direction of all papal ceremonies as well as of the ceremonial of cardinals.

History and Functions

The congregation was established by Pope Sixtus V.[1] It also communicated instructions to the legates of the Holy See for the maintenance of due decorum in transacting the affairs of their missions. This congregation also instructed the members of the Noble Guard and the ablegate who were sent to convey to new cardinals, living in Catholic states outside of Rome, the news of their promotion, together with the cardinal's hat and the red biretta. It instructed newly promoted cardinals, too, on the etiquette to be followed conformably with their new dignity. Finally, it solved the questions of precedence which arose among cardinals or among ambassadors to the Holy See.

It was dissolved in 1967 in the Curial reforms by Pope Paul VI.