The Kirkin' o' the Tartan tradition is an old Highland one. After the defeat of the Scots by the English in 1746, the wearing of the tartan and the keeping of any Highland ways or culture was forbidden in hopes this would forever subdue the rebellious Scottish spirit.
The Kirkin' was an important part of this in that one Sunday a year, the populace went to church wearing a concealed piece of the tartan and, at a certain moment set aside in the service, the tartan was touched while the minister pronounced a blessing on all tartans and the Scots once more pledged their loyalty and respect for their old traditions.
Scots who came to Canada brought with them the Celtic customs that were their heritage -- the tartan, the bagpipe, the kirk (the church), the songs. One of the songs piped in the parade this morning was a song that was piped at our wedding, nine years ago:
I captured this last photo, especially for my Social Work class, to remind us that as professional social workers, we can never make assumptions about people; that each of us comes from a multiplicity of interconnected cultures. I was reminded of that this morning when I noticed this young lady near the end of the parade, carrying her tartan into the 'kirk'.
Almighty God, who has promised that in all places where your name is honoured, you will
meet with your servants to bless them, we rejoice in this opportunity to present these
tartans to you as symbols of our unwavering loyalty to you and our steadfast faith in Christ
our Lord. We praise you for our Scottish ancestors: for all those saints of long ago who
brought Christ’s word to Celtic lands; for the risk-taking of Scottish immigrants who came to
this new land and with hard work, ingenuity and integrity created a new homestead. We
pray that in the present day, the dedication of these early pioneers may still inspire us to
greater achievements in the service of Christ and our fellow citizens. As represented by
these tartans, bless us, O God. Amen.