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Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan

Scottish Heritage Sunday
February 12, 2006
 St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church
Dunwoody, Georgia, USA

Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Atlanta, GA, USA, Email:

Once again, the St. Andrew’s Society of Atlanta participated in the Scottish Heritage Sunday’s Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan service at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Dunwoody. Both the main level of the church and the balcony were packed. The lovely and moving music led by our own Sue Mitchell-Wallace added much to the worship experience, as did the scripture readings by St. Andrew’s members Christine Transue and Suzanne Boothe. The children’s part of the worship service, always special, was a favorite of mine. Dr. Christopher A. Price, Senior Pastor is a powerful speaker and, more importantly, knows when to begin and when to end. Helping to coordinate the kirkin’ service was St. Andrew’s immediate past president, Bill Harris, who welcomed one and all. Making sure the flag bearers were aligned properly was SAS member Donald Malcolm who also gave the Blessing of the Tartans. The always-dependable Greg Slaton was in charge of the ushers for the day, and his wife Margaret along with Beth Harris sang in the choir. Another SAS member and past president of the society, Doug Grey, saw to it that the flags were at the church on time. There were 20 tartans carried by clan members, as well as the Clan Shaw Chief’s Pinsel that was on display. The pinsel, always flown in the absence of the clan chief, was presented to this writer years ago while serving as Clan Shaw’s High Commissioner in the United States.

Following the service, members of St. Luke’s hosted a delightful reception for those attending. My wife Susan and I chatted briefly with Dr. Price in the fellowship hall. I told him how impressed I had been by the worship service, and that although I am a non-church-goer, if I ever decided to attend church on a regular basis, it would be at a church like his. Naturally, that was like saying “sic’ um” to a bulldog, but he was gracious with his comments. 

            As current president of the Society, it was my honor to deliver the Prayer of Remembrance during the worship service. It is my desire from time to time to share with our readers items of Scottish history and faith, so I unabashedly leave you with this prayer in the hope it may be of interest and use to those who wish to read it or perhaps find use for some of it in a future kirkin’ service.             


Today, O Lord
 We give thanks to You, God, and remember -
Those brave and courageous Scottish souls who
crossed the perilous Atlantic Ocean
in search of freedom, independence and a new life.

We give thanks to You, God, and remember -
Those early settlers brought with them
their beliefs in God, in Christ, and the scriptures
as they scattered across this land
known now as America.

We give thanks to You, God, and remember –
These tartans flags, kilts, and Scottish dress
are only symbols of our rich heritage,
bequeathed to us by those of yore
for us to bequeath to our children and grandchildren.

We give thanks to You, God, and remember-
Our Scottish ancestors took You
At your word then
As we do now.
That where “two or three are gathered in Your name”
That You were with them then
As you are with us now. 

So it is, dear Lord, that
“in this age of the half-read page”
We give thanks to You, God, and remember -
Those who came before us,
Those who showed us the way,
Those we will reunite with one day through
Love, Grace, Forgiveness
Everlasting life.

In this age of modern technology
That finds us
Tethered to our cell phones,
Our iPods,
Our blackberries,
Our Computers,

Please loosen those bonds
So that we may be AS connected
To You, God,
Your Son, Jesus Christ.

In His strong name we pray.

Note: The last part of this prayer dealing with modern technology came from a fellow Furman University Trustee, Dave Ellison, during a meeting on February 12, 2006. It was so timely that I asked for a copy to use in this prayer the following day at St. Luke’s. (FRS: 3-15-06)

L-R:  Frank Shaw, Suzanne Boothe, Christine Transue, Bill Harris, Don Malcolm and Alan Miller

Return to April/May 2006 Index page  |  Return to Frank Shaw's Page


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