Presbyterians celebrate the tradition that grounds their faith on Reformation Sunday, which this year occurs on October 31, 2021. Reformation Sunday marks the occasion in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, sparking the Protestant Reformation. Traditionally, First Presbyterian Church of Pampa has joined their celebration of Reformation Sunday with the Kirking of the Tartans. Kirking is from the Scots word “Kirk”, which means church, Tartans are the traditional plaid emblems of Scottish clans represented in unevenly spaced colored lines and rectangles on woven wool cloth.
On July 25, 1745, the young Prince Charles Edward Stewart, “Bonnie Prince Charlie” returned from exile in France and landed at Lochnanaugh in Scotland, where he began to enlist the Highland Clans for an unsuccessful attempt to dethrone George II of England and restore the Scottish throne to the Royal House of Stewart. Following his defeat by the English, Parliament passed the Act of Proscription, to subdue the vanquished Highlanders, banning them from wearing any sign of the tartan, outlawing Scottish music and the playing of the pipes. From this ban came the tradition of Scottish Highlanders touching a hidden piece of tartan cloth concealed under their clothing when the Minister gave the benediction, or “kirkin’”, thus rededicating themselves to God and their Scottish heritage.
First Presbyterian Church of Pampa will celebrate the Scottish heritage of the Presbyterian Church with a “Kirkin’ O’ th’ Tartans” service this Sunday. The service features the decoration of the Sanctuary with Scottish Tartans. Of special interest will be the appearance of Jordan Langhenning, known as the “Piper of the Plains”, who will perform with his bagpipes and give an interesting explanation of their use and origin. This service will feature the piping of Amazing Grace and other Scottish tunes. Jordan will also furnish our organ music.
First Presbyterian Church of Pampa welcomes members of the public to attend this meaningful celebration of the Protestant Reformation and the Scottish heritage of the Presbyterian Church. Services will begin at 10:45 a.m. on October 31st, 2021.