The congregation was established by Pope Sixtus V. 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.
Günther Wassilowsky, Hubert Wolf: Päpstliches Zeremoniell in der Frühen Neuzeit – Das Diarium des Zeremonienmeisters Paolo Alaleone de Branca während des Pontifikats Gregors XV. (1621–1623). Rhema-Verlag, Münster 2007, ISBN 978-3-930454-80-8 (with the complete original Latin text of the diarium)