Kirkin ‘o the Tartan on April 19th 10:15 AM

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April 19, 2015
9:15 amto11:15 am

Don Button ,Bagpiper
Presentation of family tartan Sandy Hembree $5
Bangers, Britannica salad, Caledonian Cream $5

On Sunday, April 19th we will be celebrating the Kirkin O’ the Tartan in our worship service. During the worship service there will be a Presentation of the Tartans for those who have a representative tartan sample with them. After the worship service there will be clan and informational booths from the Butte County Scottish Society. Also there will be some Scottish foods to sample – bangers, colcannon, and rock cakes.

“Kirk” is the Scottish word for “church”. The ceremony reminds us of the Scottish heritage of the Presbyterian Church and its roots in Reformed Theology. A tartan is a distinctive woven fabric that a clan or family grouping uses to identify itself to others. The tradition of the Kirkin O’ the Tartan began in this country during World War II, before the United States joined the Allied Powers. At that time, Dr. Peter Marshall, a Presbyterian pastor and Chaplain of the United States Senate, wanted to encourage American identification with the British motherland and determined that he would target those Americans of Scottish descent. Dr. Marshall created the ceremony, and since then, the Kirkin O’ the Tartan ceremony has been celebrated in Presbyterian Churches across the country. It is also a popular event in other “colonies” of Scotland: Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The National Kirkin O’ the Tartan service is being held on April 27th at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.

The practice of a blessing for the tartans grew out of a period in Scottish history in the late 18th century. After the Scottish forces of Bonnie Prince Charles were defeated by the English at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Scotland once again came under British rule. To control the Scots, an Act was passed that forbade the carrying of arms and the wearing of kilts or tartans which represented Scottish heritage. The stubborn Scots would carry with them secretly a piece of their tartan as they went to the Kirk where the minister would slip a blessing (a Kirkin’) into the service for the tartans. Fifty years later, after the prohibition against tartans was lifted, the Church of Scotland (the Presbyterian Church) celebrated with a Service of Family Covenant where the tartan of each family was offered as a covenant expression for the Lord’s blessing.

You don’t have to be Scottish to enjoy the Kirkin O’ the Tartan. The whole community is invited to join our worship and our celebration.

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