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Scottish Heritage recognized by Church

There was an unusual addition to the regular service of worship at Tehachapi Community Congregational Church (UCC) last week. It was a Scottish tradition called Kirkin' 'o the Tartans. It dates back to the mid-eighteenth century when wearing of the tartan and playing of bagpipes was outlawed by the Hanovarian English government.

On Sunday mornings, during the years when these bans were publicly enforced, Scotish people would secretly carry a small piece of their clan's tartan to church under their clothing. When the minister ended the worship service with the benediction, that tartan was considered blessed, and God's favor was bestowed upon the Scottish people.

Celebrating the event in this century is an opportunity for those of Scottish descent to pay tribute to their heritage. It is also a way for the church to celebrate persistence, independence, survival, and peace among neighbors by displaying the tartans and parading the clans to stirring sounds of the bagpipes.

Jim Carmichael, a proud Scottish descendent, read the names of clans represented within the congregation. Those members came forward, and gathering around the altar, they placed a piece of their tartan on the altar table.

This was followed by a blessing of those deceased. Linda Carmichael led the congregation in remembering church members who died during the past year.

The service concluded with music called "Flowers of the Forest" which was played by Travis Combs on the bagpipes.