For the sake of variety, it seemed a good idea to invite the illustrious "diarists" of other periodicals to make some contribution to this particular diary.
Please don't think that the contributions are always just made up by me. The management. I assure you, has spent thousands on this journalistic breakthrough!
Here followeth, then, an uplifting message from Aubcron Waugh: "You may have seen my recent piece in Private Eye (a very serious humorous magazine) complaining about the banality of the Mass as said nowadays. Now, please don't get me wrong. Let's not lose our sense of humour. , "I'm not trying to insult anyone, even those bog-Irish priests whose brogue renders the vernacular liturgy both unintelligible and hideous.
"And don't try and remind me that 1 am a Catholic and that I should realise that the Mass is the Mass, and that is what should matter most. I don't go for these theological quibbles.
"I am concerned as to whether the Mass. as at present 'celebrated, is Fit for the eyes and cars of an English country gentleman. I mean no offence to the fools who don't agree. Let's. as I say, not lose our sense of humour — a proud heritage from St Thomas More.'
(This is the word of the Waugh.)
Next week's guest diarist: Boofy Arran.
The second reading is taken from an article by one Michael Davies in the December issue of the journal Christian Order. The new form of Mass, it appears, is not just aesthetically objectionable but practically I, eretical.
It's all the fault of those beastly progressives in the Concilium (the liturgical body of experts on whose advice Pope Paul has relied in promulgating his Missale Romanum).
The gist of Mr Davies's complaint is that material not found in the old form of Roman Mass "has suddenly found its way into the revised rites" of both Rome and Canterbury.
A Protestantish Plot! But,unfortunately for the author's argument, one of his gravest charges is that ("suddenly") the celebrant at Mass is referred to as "the President."
Poor Mr Davies! He should brush up on his Justin Martyr (second century) where the celebrant at Mass is referred to as — "the President."
It is an endless source of amusement to those who prefer to follow the ruling of the Pope (simple souls, no doubt) that the "traditionalists" seem wedded to medieval innovations while the true primitives in our midst are those beastly "progressives."
Undeterred, Mr Davies thunders on for page after page. ending with a spirited acclamation (should one say?) in memory of St John Fisher: "The fort is betrayed even of them that should have defended it."
(This is the word of the bore.) I went last week to a "Men and Women of the Year" lunch organised with much verve, charm and efficiency by Miss Louise Andric Coury.
I was amazed when she told me that she had been organising such luncheons for nearly 40 years — ever since, in fact, her endlessly busy literary pre-war years when. among many other things, she edited The Queen.
A disappointment was the inability of Lord Mountbatten to come along and talk about a recently published biography (to which he had contributed a foreword) of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Hesse, Queen Victoria's second daughter.
Instead, he sent a message of regret which, by referring to the "splendid book" in question, may have singed the ears of its author, and former Catholic Herald editor, Gerard Noel.
I sat next to that remarkable authoress, Miss Ursula Bloom. She will soon rate yet another entry in "The Guinness Book of Records."
Having already written more books than any other living writer, she expects, by the end of next year, to have written her five-hundreth. She looked young enough to start on her second five hundred any minute. Ad multos annost
Church of the Week: Holy Trinity, Sloane Street, London. I went there last Sunday morning for the Morning Service and sermon by the Rector whom I have had the pleasure of meeting on various occasions.
Lest any of the "weaker brethren" should be scandalised, I should no doubt add the otherwise superflous comment that the ecumenical practice of attending churches other than one's own implies no gunjumping as to official attitudes toward the re-establishment of Christian unity (not to be confused with monolithic union).
Holy Trinity is a magnificent architectural triumph of the nineties, with a vast and
marvellous Burne-Jones east window. The Rector, who has served this notable church for nearly 30 years, happens to be an extremely good preacher. This lovely church, however, is in danger. Its great size dates from the days when Belgravia and Chelsea boasted huge households of unfailing churchgoers.
Its present cruel dilemma is that it is architecturally too important to come within normal procedures for "redundancy," and therefore cannot qualify for the financial help needed to redevelop the site for more modern pastoral and other activities, incorporating a new but smaller church which would nevertheless retain some of the unique features of the present building.
Short of our attending each other's services without selfconsciousness — and thus being able to take an informed part in ecumenical discussions at all levels — it is difficult to know how individuals can make a more concrete effort toward the furthering of an interdenominationally stronger Christian fellowship in one's own neighbourhood.
But a friendly note (or even a small donation for a really good cause) would, I'm sure, be appreciated as an ecumenical gesture of particular warmth on the part of any well-wisher of this particular Rector, the Rev A. B. Carver, 141 Sloane Street, London, SWI.