Kirkin O' The Tartans 2022

It all started in Scotland or so the legend says! After August 1746 when Highland chiefs and clan members were forbidden from wearing their tartans or traditional family colors, they hid patches and pieces of forbidden tartan cloth in their boots, beneath their shirts, and tucked into their hats and made their way to the “kirk,” the Scottish word for church and specifically, the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. During the worship service, and upon a secret blessing from the minister, each worshipper touched his or her wee bit o’ tartan. Hence, began the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan, a remembrance of who we are and whose we are.
It was all brought on by the Act of Proscription, which the British Parliament passed in 1746. The Act of Proscription was intended to pressure those Scottish Presbyterians to worship according to an Anglican form of worship and to cease wearing their historic Highland dress. Although the Act was repealed in 1782, legend says that the tradition of presenting the tartan for blessing during the church service has continued over the centuries.

Reality, as is often the case, is a bit less romantic. For starters, the custom is not Scottish but Scottish-American. It started during the Second World War, after Dr. Peter Marshall held annual prayer services at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., to raise funds for Scottish war relief. Dr. Marshall gave a sermon each year under the theme of, “The Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans,” and the custom began.  The funds raised went toward a mobile kitchen that helped feed some of the Scottish regiments as part of the British Army. The notion of “The “Kirkin’” caught on and soon spread from Washington, DC to all across America, including TPC. 
Whether or not your family roots are Scottish, we invite you to join us as we celebrate our heritage and our hope in Jesus.

KIRKIN O' THE TARTANS 2 october 2022