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Sunday, April 26, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. at KUPC
American Presbyterians’ Ties to Scottish History
In 1560, when the Queen of the Scottish Nation died, the Protestant nobility of Scotland sought to win England’s recognition of Scottish sovereignty by obtaining the Treaty of Edinburgh. The Scottish Parliament then quickly declared Scotland a Protestant nation. They asked the noted clergy of the land, including John Knox, to frame a confession of faith, known as the "Scots Confession". This was ratified by Parliament, and the Scottish Church – the mother of American Presbyterianism – was born.
Two hundred years later, the English defeated the Scots at the Battle of Culloden. An "Act of Proscription" was passed to control the Scots, outlawing the wearing of kilts or any other tartan garment representing Scottish heritage. The stubborn Scots secretly carried or wore a piece of their tartan as they went to Kirk (church). One Sunday a year the minister slipped a blessing (a kirkin’) on all tartans into the service. Through this tradition, the Scots kept alive their loyalty to God, to family, and to their ancestors.
The Kirkin’ o the Tartan: An American Creation
The American Kirkin’ o the Tartan ceremony had its beginning with the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington, DC, during World War II. The Kirkin’ is a traditional worship service, but with specific significance to Scots. Central to its theme is the presentation of various tartans of clans, regions, regiments, symbolizing the re-dedication of Scots everywhere to God’s service. The National Cathedral continues this tradition annually with the St. Andrew’s Society.
On Sunday, April 26, at 4:00 p.m. at KUPC was a traditional Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan. It included a procession into the sanctuary led by bagpipers, then during the service tartans was blessed in recognition of our heritage. The Sanctuary was adorned with Scottish flags and symbols and special Celtic music was provided by area pipers, and other area musicians including KUPC’s choir and music director.We encouraged all to bring tartans of your own for blessing.
The Rev. Ernest R. D. Smart – Guest Minister
Our guest minister for this service was the Rev. Ernest Smart of Baltimore, MD. Rev. Smart is a native of Aberdeen, Scotland. He has served Presbyterian congregations in Scotland and the U.S. and currently serves as minister of St. Andrew’s Christian Community in Baltimore. We are delighted to have him back again for this special occasion.
A procession after the service led by bagpipers
See the wonderful article in the Charleston Gazette
Click picture for larger image