Kirkin' of the Tartans

November 26 | 10:30am

On Sunday, November 26, Summit Avenue will celebrate our Scottish Presbyterian roots with the “Kirkin’ of the Tartans.” The service will include bagpipes, the History of the Kirkin’, and the Roll Call of the Clans. Whether you trace your family roots to Scotland or to other countries around the globe, the Kirkin’ service is meant to celebrate both the heritage of Presbyterianism and to bless all families.

Wear your family’s festive plaid, or just come in your usual Sunday attire and we will give you a bright ribbon! Join us on Sunday, November 26nd!


A brief history of the custom:

After the Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1746, the English Parliament banned wearing tartan, speaking Gaelic, Scottish music, dancing, or playing the pipes. Any person caught doing anything of these could be shot on sight, arrested, or exiled to the colonies. This ban lasted for 36 years.

Legend says the Highlanders devised a plan to hide a piece of tartan in their clothing during church. At a set time during the service, they would hold the tartan and bless it. When the Scots were forced to fight for the British Army, it is said that the women would take a piece of their tartan to the Kirk (church) to be blessed and to pray for protection of their clan. Thus came the Scottish celebration known as the Kirkin’ O’ the Tartan.


[Re-printed with permission.
“What is the Kirkin’ of the Tartan?” Scottish Heritage Society of Sarasota, Inc.
October 2013]