photo courtesy of Richard Suter

Kirkin' o' the Tartans

All are invited to join us at First Presbyterian Church Gallatin, 167 W. Main St. on Sunday morning, October 22 at 10:00 am for our "Kirkin' o' the Tartan". This celebration of our Scottish-Presbyterian roots will re-enact the blessing of the Clan and will serve as a rededication of our families to God's service.

All those with Scottish ancestry will gather before the service in the church narthex with a "tartan" - a tie, scarf, cap, kilt or even just a swatch of fabric with the plaid pattern representing their original Scottish clan (family or kinship group). And yes, we will have a few men wearing kilts! Jay Dawson will play the bagpipe and lead the procession into the sanctuary. The names of the clans will be called out, and the "Kirkin'" ("kirk" is the Scottish word for church) will take place, giving everyone the opportunity to rededicate themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church, no matter their ancestry. 

According to legend, the origins behind this unique observance hail back to 1745, when Scottish forces were defeated and wearing tartan garments reflecting one's heritage and loyalty was banned. Even the playing of bagpipes was prohibited. It is said that during those years clansmen wore pieces of tartan material concealed on their persons. At one point in the service, family members would touch the hidden tartan as the minister offered a blessing for the clan. As a way to commemorate the dedication of the Scottish clans, Rev. Dr. Peter Marshall, a native Scotts, held the first Kirkin' o' the Tartan in 1941 at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. The service was so well-received, many Presbyterian Churches across the country began replicating the ceremony.  

Here locally, many of the founding members of First Presbyterian Church Gallatin, organized in 1828 by Rev. John W. Hall and the church elders, were of Scottish descent. To this day, we still have several families that trace their heritage back to Scotland. We hope you will join us for this unique service as we rededicate ourselves as the family of faith we know as First Presbyterian Church, to the glory and praise of the God whom we have come to know through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Reformed Worship has only one audience:  God

For over 180 years we have gathered as a community of faith to do the work of worship.  We seek to shape worship but God in corporate worship shapes us.  We do not come to consume religious goods and services we come to follow Jesus Christ with lives given in worship.

We gather, we confess our sins before God, we reconcile with each other and pass the peace, we praise God, we recite liturgy and ancient confessions, we celebrate the sacraments and listen to the Word proclaimed.  All this is done for God alone: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Sacraments:  The Lord's Supper (First Sunday); Baptism

The Word Proclaimed:  Biblical sermons preached from the Lectionary

The Music:  Variety of styles (mostly traditional) with special music, the Organ, the Chancel Choir and contemporary forms

The Fellowship:  Passing the Peace, Cares and Concerns