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Second Sunday of Advent - Kirkin' o' the Tartan

  • Highlands United Methodist Church 1045 20th Street South Birmingham, AL, 35205 United States (map)

Second Sunday of Advent

Kirkin' o' the Tartan

10:30 a.m.

Rev. Mikah Hudson preaching

Psalm 85: 1-2, 8-13

Isaiah 40:1-11

Mark 1:1-8

The Kirkin' o' the Tartans is an old Highland custom meaning "churching of the tartans." The tartan is a fabric woven according to a certain thread-count design. The clear and distinctive cross-line patterns represent specific families, regions, and regiments. After the defeat of the Scots by the English in 1746, the wearing of the     tartan and the keeping of any other Highland customs were banned. The English knew the Scots felt very deeply about the covenantal relationship between God and families. Therefore by banning the tartans, the English felt the Scottish spirit would  be broken. It became apparent to the English that this law only sparked more interest   in the tartans; consequently, it was repealed in 1782. With the repeal of the law, the Kirk (Church) of Scotland celebrated with a Service of Family Covenant, at which time the tartan of each family was offered as a covenant expression to the Lord. This tradition was brought to the United States in 1941 by the late Dr. Peter Marshal. Today we bless the tartans and all families as holy symbols of God's covenant love for humanity. We are honored to host this service with the Saint Andrew's Society, which keeps such Scottish traditions alive.  


Earlier Event: December 9
Festival of the Three Kings
Later Event: December 10
Second Sunday Jam