The Kirkin’ O’ The Tartans

Starts: December 2, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Ends: December 2, 2012 at 1:00 PM


Kirkin' 'O The Tartans

The Kirkin’ o’ The Tartans

Sunday, December 2nd at 10:30 am
in Honor of St. Andrews Day

The Anglican Church in the United States has been shaped more by Scottish than by English Anglicanism. The reasons are two: first, the American line of Bishops traces back through Scotland, not England, and, second, the essence of the American Book of Common Prayer was shaped by Scottish influence rather than English.

To be consecrated bishop in England, an American Anglican would have had to take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. That, of course, was antithetical to the ethos of America. Samuel Seabury, therefore, went to Scotland to be consecrated. The Episcopal Church of Scotland was founded by English bishops who had given up their dioceses rather than violate the oath of allegiance they had given to the English King James II by taking a new oath of allegiance to William of Orange while the exiled James II still lived. These bishops were called non-Jurors. All they took with them when they went into exile was their integrity and their consecration as bishops. It was to these dedicated bishops that Samuel Seabury turned. He sailed to Aberdeen where, on the fourteenth of November 1784, he was consecrated the first American Anglican bishop by Bishop Coadjutor of Aberdeen and the Bishop of Ross and Caithness. Bishop Seabury thus brought home from Scotland the unbroken line of bishops extending back to the Apostles.

In gratitude to the bishops who had consecrated him, Bishop Seabury promised to do everything he could to use the Scottish rather than the English Prayer of Consecration in the Holy Eucharist. In this effort he was largely successful. The American Book of Common Prayer, with very few changes, reflects Scottish usage, which itself was adopted directly from the first Book of Common Prayer in 1549.

St. George’s will honor its Scottish heritage and the feast of St. Andrew (Apostle and Patron Saint of Scotland) with a Kirking of Tartans. A Kirking of Tartans (often mispronounced, “Kirkin’ o’ Tartans) is a peculiarly American tradition. These ceremonies are held on behalf of Scots Abroad (and their descendants) who have been sundered from their native land and roots. A Kirkin’ is most often held in conjunction with St. Andrew’s Day in November, or at a Highland Games or other large gathering of Scots. They are often held in Presbyterian Churches, but sometimes in Anglican or Roman Catholic parishes, especially in those with a high percentage of Scottish parishioners. While details may vary from church to church, they always include a presentation of Tartans and blessings pronounced on behalf of all those of Scottish blood, whether present or not.
The Kirkin' o' the Tartans
The kirkin’ will be held on the 1st Sunday in Advent, December 2nd (the Sunday closest to St. Andrew’s Day, Nov. 30th). St. Andrew’s Scottish Society of Las Vegas will be our guests and help us celebrate with pipes, dance, prayer and shortbread! In addition we welcome Marsden MacRae, dance coordinator for the  Desdichado Dance Group, who will offer English and Scottish dance for us. Anyone interested in learning more about this rich and enjoyable heritage should take a look at their very nice website.

Invite your family and friends for a fun and joyous day!