Grace Episcopal Church will be celebrating our Scottish roots with our annual Kirkin’ of the Tartans. Join us Sunday, Nov. 20 at the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services as we welcome the Saint Louis Caledonian Pipe Band, which will lead a procession through the Nave with bagpipes and drums. Be sure to stay after the 10 a.m. service for a short concert in Albright Hall.

The Kirkin' of the Tartan has its origins in the eighteenth century. After Scottish patriots were defeated at the battle of Culloden in 1745, the British Parliament passed the Parliamentary Act of 1746 which banned the kilt and every other tartan garment in an effort to destroy Highland Clan identity. But the Scots kept their traditions alive by secretly carrying remnants of their tartans to church. The ministers would then add a blessing into the service for the tartans and the clans they represented.

Episcopal Churches around the country recognize the Scottish tradition this time of the year to commemorate the life and ministry of Samuel Seabury, the first American bishop, who was consecrated in the Episcopal Church of Scotland on Nov. 14, 1784. We also celebrate the feast of St. Andrew on Nov. 30. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.

Grace’s Kirkin’

of the Tartans tradition was started by former member John Hering, who also played the bagpipes. Organist & choir master Phillip Brunswick has organized the event for many years at Grace. “It’s a truly special moment for a lot of people here at Grace,” said Phillip.

We are gratefully accepting donations to help underwrite the cost of this special event. Special Flowers and Music envelopes will be available in the pew racks on Sunday. Contributions may also be made online or mailed to the parish office. Please note your check “Kirkin’ of the Tartans.”

Don your Scottish plaid and invite a friend to join us on November 20!

Click here to read more about the American history of the Kirkin of the Tartans tradition.

Click here to read more about Samuel Seabury.

Click here to read more about Saint Andrew. 

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