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Jules, I have also enjoyed our brief literary interaction, and am happy to have almost inspired you to go to church. I have just three final things to say:

Thing One
Along with most mainstream denominations, Anglicans have long practiced infant baptism (although adults are almost as as frequently baptized these days). Baptism is a gift of God’s grace, and its effectiveness doesn’t depend upon infants recalling what happened. It is parents and baptismal sponsors who make the promises of the Baptismal Covenant on behalf of the infant, and who bear responsibility for helping the child keep them. Which is a long-winded way of reassuring your husband that, in case he’s concerned (and, as a person of Anglican heritage, I doubt that he worries about it at all), his baptism counts one hundred percent. Despite it being as complete a blank in his memory as that night of bar-hopping when he was 22.

Thing Two
Since we’ve ordained women as bishops, priests and deacons for decades, Canadian Anglicans are using “man of the cloth” less and less frequently. Anyway, the cloth in question (ie, the fabric of those hideously uncomfortable clergy shirts) is hardly worthy of having its own expression since it’s usually an unfortunate cotton-polyester blend. Besides, many people on the streets have no idea what that kind of strangely-collared shirt signifies, or if they do, it makes them run for the hills. Like Allan, whose alarm at seeing me wear a “clerical collar” seems to indicate he’s either terrified of it or seriously allergic.

Thing Three
I can assure you that most clergy utter blasphemies only on the rarest of occasions and then solely for the finest theological reasons. Swearing, on the other hand, is a mainstay of clerical vocabulary, in frequent and colourful use, though most often privately. We are, after all, only fucking human.

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