The current issue of The Tablet reprints an excerpt from the address delivered by Fr. Philip Caraman at the Requiem Mass for Evelyn Waugh at Westminster Cathedral on 21 April 1966:
Christ commanded us to trade with our talents. This Evelyn Waugh did. He sought perfection in his craft and came nearer to achieving it than perhaps any man of his time. But the way he cultivated his gifts was only one manifestation of his fidelity – the virtue marked the whole man …
It is not an accident that A Handful of Dust is generally reckoned the best of his earlier novels. It was written when he was still wounded by the failure of loyalty. Under the shock he sought a faith that would underpin morals. He found it, assisted by Fr Martin D’Arcy, to whom he dedicated and gave his book, Edmund Campion. “Conversion,” he wrote, speaking of himself in the third person, “suggests an event more sudden and emotional than his calm acceptance of the propositions of his faith – in early manhood when many Englishmen of humane education were falling into Communism.” Unlike them, he remained steadfast.
By special dispensation, the Mass was celebrated in Latin.