The Norman Transcript


November 21, 2013

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Norman to host third annual Kirkin’ of the Tartans ceremony Sunday

NORMAN — St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 1601 W. Imhoff Road, invites everyone who enjoys the humming of drones and the melodies of pipes mixed with the flourish of drummers to join them as they march through the parking lot and raise the roof in song and praise at their Kirkin’ of the Tartans service Sunday.

At 11 a.m., the Oklahoma Scottish Pipes and Drums will join congregants as they celebrate St. Andrew’s Day and the tradition of blessing the tartans. This is the third annual Kirkin’ of the Tartans service at St. Michael’s. Congregants anticipate the annual event.

Bob Mansfield, local musician and St. Michael’s congregant, said the event takes him back to Scotland.

“I love the whole scene,” Mansfiled said. “I love it. It’s great because it reminds me of when I went to Scotland.”

Mansfield recounted having awakened to the strains of a 16-year-old piper in full regalia. As for the service at St. Michael’s, Mansfield said he looks forward to it every year.

“I find it very powerful,” he said.

“It’s very stirring,” choir member and congregant David Zittel said. “It harkens back to our Scottish roots.”

Judy Lewis, University of Oklahoma history professor and choir member, said, “The Episcopal church in Scotland does things a little differently than the English church, and our (Episcopal) traditions follow the Scots.”

Tim Phillips, a longtime St. Michael’s member and church scholar, said each Anglican prayer book since the 1700s has included Scottish elements.

In Scottish tradition, those who know tartans can tell what clan a tartan-bearer belongs to.

At St. Michael’s inaugural Kirkin’ of the Tartans service in 2011, Fr. Alan Sutherland, rector, had a roll call of the clans where he invited all who were members of a named clan to stand. At the end of the roll call, he called for all of God’s children, regardless of heritage, to stand.

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