From the Foreword:
“Curiously enough, it has been my good fortune to use Archabbot Aurelius Stehle’s Manual of Episcopal Ceremonies in a variety of roles. First as a sacristan, then as a master of ceremonies, and finally as a bishop, I have discovered myself seeking the direction of its pages. Never have I been disappointed.
“For the sacristan, its careful listing immediately before each ceremony of the preparations required is invaluable. The admirable and orderly fashion of this listing serves as an infallible guide to all, whose duty it is to set the scene and arrange the background, against which any impressive ceremony moves.
“For the master of ceremonies, its complete outline of the ceremony itself, coupled with its special notes for each participant, is priceless. This arrangement, giving in a glance the ceremony in its totality as well as its respective parts, enables the master to set up, well in advance, each ceremonial situation. This assures a reverent yet continuing execution of the ceremony, deeply appreciated by all the participants within and without the sanctuary.
“For the bishop, its wealth of detail, pertinent to the ceremonial life he finds so much a part of his office, makes this work an absolute ‘must’ for his library. It is always reliable for the answer to problems related to ceremonies. Its careful use assures the bishop and his retinue at the Altar, that they are performing the Divine Liturgy according to the strict mind of the Church. This is no small consolation to those who love the Church, and try earnestly to live its life of worship.
“A number of revisions, made necessary by the latest Roman decrees, are included in this present edition, the fifth in an enviable line. These represent a labor of love on the part of the revisor, Father Emmeran Rettger . . . .
“Fortunately too in the revision, the mode and the tone of the original work remain. These have combined to make the original a classic in its field. Like the saintly Archbishop Canevin, who recommended the first edition, I urge ‘all who are interested in having ceremonies conducted according to the mind of the Church’ to consult and study this present edition. I am confident the result will be a thrilling experience for all who love to offer with the Church the Holy Sacrifice in the magnificent setting of the Pontifical Mass.”
Most Rev. William G. Connare
Bishop of Greensburg
Feast of St. Monica, May 4, 1961