Kirkin' O' Th' Tartan

01/25/2015, 9:30 AM to Noon

Sanctuary map 214-525-4218


The annual Kirkin' o' th' Tartan Service will be held Sunday, January 25 at the 9:30 am and 11 am Sanctuary services.  Kirkin’ services are celebrated throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The service is complete with the Bag Pipes and Drums. To carry a tartan flag, email your name, clan and the service you wish to participate in to Tina Russo or call the music office at 214-525-4218. The deadline is Wednesday, January 21.

History: Kirkin’ o’ th’ Tartans
This observance, so evocative of Scottish heritage, is in fact a wholly American tradition. The first Kirkin’ o’ th’ Tartans was held at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., on April 27, 1941. 

Framed against the backdrop of escalating world war, the first Kirkin’ o’ th’ Tartans was meant to draw together the diverse peoples who make up American society with a message of unity in the face of a common enemy. The unity we enjoy in Christ in spite of our outward differences remains a powerful message for believers today.

Kirk is the Scottish word for church, and Tartan, with its distinctive cross-lined patterns represents specific Scottish clans, families, regions and regiments. John Knox, Scotish Reformer, studied under John Calvin in Switzerland in the 1500s. He returned to Scotland and established the first Presbyterian churches. The church spread to Ireland, and it was immigrants from Scotland and Ireland who brought the Presbyterian Church to the United States.

The Scots Confession, AD 1560, is the first Reformed confession in the English language. It has been called the charter of the Church of Scotland and of world Presbyterianism. Tartans and Plaids: Perhaps no symbol is more associated with Scotland and the Scottish tradition than the colorful Highland dress.

The ancient tartan was described as “checkered” or “striped” or “sundrei colored.” When we refer to the “sett” of the tartan we mean the pattern, and a length of tartan is made of one “sett” repeated until the desired length is reached. For many centuries tartans were part of the everyday dress of the Highlanders, and it became recognized as a symbol of clan kinship. Tartans are registered with the Scottish Tartan Society.

The Beadle: During the Middle Ages and through the Reformation, Bibles were rare among common people. The Bible of the Kirk was a treasured possession. The value of the sacred scriptures and the danger of theft led to the establishment of a special lay office within the Kirk known as the“Beadle.” The Beadle begins worship by carrying the Bible ceremoniously into the sanctuary. The Beadle removes the Bible from the Kirk for safekeeping following the services.

Bagpipes: The bagpipe is a musical instrument now regarded as the national instrument of Scotland. Each clan has its own bagpiper, and its fame was based to some extent on the piper’s ability.

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28

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