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Kirkin’ of the Tartans and Ceilidh
Kirkin’ of the Tartans and Ceilidh

Sun, Nov 12


St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church

Kirkin’ of the Tartans and Ceilidh

Our annual celebration of Scottish heritage and the feast that follows it will be Sunday, November 12.

Time & Location

Nov 12, 2023, 9:30 AM

St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church, 435 Som Center Rd, Mayfield Village, OH 44143, USA

About The Event

St. Bartholomew’s Mayfield Village is partnering with The Scottish-Heritage Association of Northern Ohio (SHANO) for the annual Kirkin’ of the Tartans on November 12 at 9:30a.m. 

The Kirkin' will be incorporated into the regularly scheduled Sunday service of Holy Eucharist. During a dedicated time of the service, those who wish may bring forth an article of clothing (kilt, sash, necktie, etc.) rendered in a tartan and usually dedicated to the memory or honor of someone for blessing. The tartans are displayed on a rack in the front of the nave with a blessing offered at the conclusion of the presentation. Included in the service will be a reading of the Beatitudes in Old Scots' and special musical presentations of traditional and contemporary Scottish hymns and anthems. A bagpiper and presentation of colors by members of BSA Troop 124 complete the day's festivities. 

Following the service, join us in the parish hall for a luncheon including shepherd's pie, Scottish pastries, and a few surprises! Dancers from the Jenny May School of Highland Dancing, a bagpiper, and singers will provide entertainment. 

For more information or if you wish to attend, contact St. Bartholomew at 440.449.2290 or visit SHANO's website at

History of Kirkin’ of the Tartans

“Kirk” is a word found in Scots, Scots-English, Ulster Scots, and some northern English dialects, meaning “church.” Tartan is a fabric woven in patterns of intersecting colors and is associated with specific Scottish clans, districts of Scotland, countries, branches of the military (throughout the world), events, occupations (there is a clergy tartan), people, and, more recently, states in the US (there are at least 37 states in the US that have a dedicated tartan, including the State of Ohio).

While all tartans are plaid, not all plaids are tartans. In order to qualify as a tartan, a pattern must be submitted for approval to The Scottish Register of Tartans, which is maintained and administered by the National Archives of Scotland.  Historically, however, tartans were associated almost exclusively with specific clans or families. Scotland was governed by the clan system for millennia, despite repeated efforts by its southern neighbor England to conquer the country and eliminate the clan system. That objective was accomplished in 1745 when the English crushed the Jacobite uprising – an effort by the Scots to restore a Stuart king to the throne (a time depicted in the popular Outlander books and television series).

The clan system demolished and the wearing of tartans outlawed, Scots resorted to the subterfuge of smuggling scraps of tartan under their clothing to church services for clandestine blessings.

As the Scottish diaspora of the late 18th century sent thousands of Scots – willingly and otherwise – into the world, memories of what had been faded into history. During World War II, however, the Rev. Peter Marshall, the Scottish-American Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, revived the tradition of the Kirkin’ of the Tartans with a more formalized church service.

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