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November 19, 2012

St. Michael’s celebrates Kirkin’ of the Tartans

NORMAN — The Oklahoma Scottish Pipes and Drums band raised the roof and the spirits of congregants Sunday at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church when they celebrated the Feast of St. Andrew.

Tears welled in eyes when the band played “Amazing Grace,” perhaps in memory of those gone before. Still others sported goosebumps and smiles, possibly due to simply hearing the song and the fun of singing it with a real pipe band. No matter the reason or reaction, drums sounded and drones hummed along with the congregation as they sang the tune.

This is the second year Fr. Alan Sutherland invited the band to play at St. Michael’s, 1601 W. Imhoff Road. Clad in Scottish National tartan kilts, the band and choir led congregants — some of whom wore kilts or otherwise displayed their clan tartans — into the church while playing the “Oklahoma Scottish Pipe and Drum March.”

“It’s just a fun, special service we have,” choir member LaVetta Dent said. “I like the way it honors families.”

Although Dent doesn’t have a single plaid, she said her heritage ranges from Ireland and Scotland.

Church member David Hallum said he liked the service.

“I really liked the way the bagpipes were incorporated into everything,” Hallum said. “The conjoining of the two cultures — the church and Scottish heritage.”

Sutherland spoke of St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, and held him up as an example of an ordinary man who wasn’t as famous as his brother, Simon Peter, or their friends James and John.

“In our society, we only get excited about the very big and important things,” Sutherland said. “Andrew wasn’t a public speaker, a theologian or writer, but God cared the same for him as he did for his brother, Simon Peter …

“If he wrote any of the New Testament, we don’t know. Andrew was a fisherman, a plain, unassuming guy. Jesus chose him as his first disciple” — a fact, Sutherland said, that should be “incredibly encouraging” to everyone. “Andrew shows us the glorious possibilities of the ordinary.”

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