14 NOVEMBER 1958, Page 25


Sio was interested to note Pharos's comments on

the rather lackadaisical attitude to ceremonial seen at the Coronation of Pope John XXIII and the com- e,atison with the more parade-ground response to these things in this country. The point is of im- portance in these days when State as well as ecclesiastical ceremonial is brought so much to the Public notice (and therefor to public criticism), as in the recent televising of the opening of Parliament. It seemed to me that the Roman attitude was the more 'human' of the two for the note of informality and occasional confusion in the midst of such splendid ritual suggested that those taking part be- lieved that the actual ceremonies themselves were r°el,nuch less importance than the things they sym- used, and that they were taking part in a living tradition and not acting in an archaic survival. One cannot help feeling that the Coronation of Queen Victoria, which from all accounts was rather a chaotic affair, was more spontaneous and vital than some of the expertly stage-managed 'productions' that have taken place since.—Yours faithfully, BRIAN POTHEROILL 35 Nevern Square, SW 5