Lesson 3: Sarah Susannah Snatchpiece's
Identity Card

Of course the Church wants to help you to know, love, and serve God; so in the Book of Common Prayer (“common” means “for everybody,” like Clapton Common; it doesn’t mean “rude”) there is a catechism of questions and answers (which is what “catechism” means) that you must learn before you are confirmed. This is how it begins:

Question. What is your name?
Answer. N. or M.

(M means two names, like Sarah Susannah.)

When your mother carried you to church to be baptized, I expect you were a pink, wrinkled, fat, slobbering baby who screamed at my spectacles (I don’t know why, but babies generally do, especially girl-babies). If your mother’s name was Mrs. Luvaduck, your only name was The Luvaduck Baby.

When your mother took you out of church, probably still yelling, you were Horace Horatio Archibald Luvaduck; or Greta Garbo June Elizabeth Margaret Rose Luvaduck - or whatever you had been christened. For you had been given at the font Christian names.

Those names I wrote in the church’s large white-bound Baptism register. At the same time they were written in a larger book in heaven, the Book of Life (St. Luke 10, 20). They are, you might say, your Heavenly Identity Card: and I didn’t make a blot like Miss Snatchpiece did.

Who are you?