Kirkin'-of-the-Tartans: Sunday, November 3rd at 11:00 AM!
Joining us for this Service: Bagpiper Henry Frantz, the Signature Voices of Point University, and the Chattahoochee Valley Order of the Tartan!
Every first Sunday of November we celebrate our Scottish heritage during the Kirkin'-of-the-Tartans at West Point Presbyterian Church. This year, 2019, we mark the 24th consecutive Kirkin' Service, and our 182nd year of ministry in West Point.
"Kirk" is the Scottish word for "church." Tartans, with their distinctive plaid, represent specific Scottish clans, regions, or regiments. The "Kirkin' O' The Tartans" is the presentation of a Scottish family symbol, its tartan, at church for blessing.
After Bonnie Prince Charlie's Scottish forces were defeated by the English in 1746 in the Battle of Culloden, the wearing of tartans and the playing of bagpipes were forbidden in Scotland for many years. Wearing or displaying of tartans was punishable by death. During those years, some Scots wore concealed pieces of their tartan when they attended church. At a particular point in the worship service, they would secretly touch their hidden tartan cloth, and the minister would offer a blessing.
The first formal "Kirkin'" in America was conducted at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., in 1941. Their minister at the time was Dr. Peter Marshall, born in Scotland, who was also Chaplain of the United States Senate... and who, a few earlier, visited West Point Presbyterian Church as a guest preacher.
Beyond the particular heritage of Scotland and its people, West Point Presbyterian Church's Kirkin' is intended to encourage all participants to reflect with thanksgiving on their own family and ethnic heritage, and to celebrate God's grace poured out for all generations.