Rites, Congregation of
Rites, Congregation Of, the name of a committee of cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church, founded by pope Sixtus V. It was originally composed of six cardinals, with a number of secretaries and consulters. The reigning pope decides the number of members. In 1875 it comprised seventeen cardinals, twenty-five consulters, and eleven officials, including secretary, promoters of the faith, assessors, and masters of ceremonies. The matters of which it has cognizance are the liturgy, the rites of the administration of the sacraments, the rubrics of the missal and breviary, the ceremonial of the Church in all public functions, and the proceedings in the beatification and canonization of saints. The congregation meets once a month at the residence of the prefect, who is always the senior cardinal of the board. See Appletons' New Amer. Cyclop. s.v.