Violet Hudson is just finding this out now, apparently never having thought to ask about it over the course of who knows how many Holy Weeks:
The reverse is true for Ann Pasternak Slater, whose book uses Waugh’s novels as a way into his life. A renowned Waugh scholar, Slater examines the novels in turn. Her work sheds light on how Waugh’s Catholicism influenced his work; her chapter on Brideshead Revisited is particularly strong. She explains, for example, that “On Good Friday the doors of the tabernacle, where the Host – representing the body of Christ – is kept, are left open because there is no Host to be protected. Its void symbolizes Christ’s absence from the world between His death on Good Friday, and Resurrection on Easter Sunday”. Gems such as this – previously unknown to me, brought up Catholic – illuminate details of the text that otherwise could go unremarked upon. She makes one appreciate Waugh’s craft as a writer, drawing attention to themes and devices.
I don’t recall, but you’d think that Waugh would have explained this in Brideshead… itself, as it is told from a non-Catholic’s point of view.
Anyway, I can’t believe this appeared in the Times Literary Supplement; it sounds like it was written for People.