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Thread: Kilt to church?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bee View Post
    I have followed this thread with interest but refrained from comment so far because its context has seemed to me to be mainly, though not exclusively, North American. Now Jock Scot has finally brought the issue into the context of Scotland with his interesting post - a post written from the stand-point of a kilt-wearer who attends churches on occasion but is not a regular Sunday worshipper - if I have understood him correctly.

    If I may put my cards on the table, I should tell you that this post is written from that stand-point of a former Church of Scotland clergyman, a regular Sunday worshipper at a Church of Scotland, a kilt-wearer of course, and someone who does not regard the kilt and its accoutrements as 'fancy dress' but as a truly excellent way of being dressed on any occasion. Now, as a Church of Scotland clergyman (and I cannot speak for the Free Churches, the Episcopalians or the Roman Catholic Church - all of which are deeply embedded in Scottish culture) I can say that I NEVER ever batted an eye at the wearing of the kilt in the Kirk - and I do not expect anyone now to bat an eye at me when I do so. The Kirk for long had a tradition of wearing one's 'Sunday best' to worship and this was taken to the extreme in two congregations where I served where the elders wore morning coats and striped trousers when they were on duty, which meant some of them every Sunday and all of them on Communion Sundays - now this is the only circumstance I can think of where a kilt might have been frowned upon - if it had transgressed against the elders' dress code - and I would not have been doing the frowning. That apart, for ordinary Sunday worship, Holy Communion, Baptisms, weddings and funerals and all the extraordinary events such as ordinations, dedications, etc., the kilt was always considered a proper and respectful way for a gentleman to dress - and it still is - in the Church of Scotland.

    Now, bearing in mind that Jock Scot might have been writing of his experiences of Churches other than the Church of Scotland, I have to ask him to please expand upon when it is not appropriate to wear the kilt in Church.
    Let me first say, I have no interest in religion of any sort and have little knowledge or care for the assorted Christian groups throughout Scotland or even the world. However, I do have consideration for others and combined with my lack of knowing the assorted and various Christian forms of service and thinking behind them, I am sensitive to others feelings. On occasion I have taken guidance from family members and even the local clergy where the wedding and particularly funerals are taking place if they are outwith my locality.

    Locally, unless there is a new Vicar or some such in place, I know the form pretty well for weddings as the families generally let it be known what dress is required. Funerals are a tad trickier, even locally, as the mood is rather more sombre and emotions tend towards the sad and therefore sensitive end of the spectrum and families from outwith the area have on occasion have been less than impressed with the kilt as they do not understand it. Outwith the locality things can differ quite markedly and more care is required.

    In my experience and it would probably be unfair to pick a denomination, but let me just say that some families, some denominations(many) and some individuals within a particular branch of the church are far from enthusiastic with the kilt and again, more so at funerals. As I say, I have absolutely no problem wearing a suit if necessary. I go to support the families in happy times and in sad times to pay my respects and give support where I can and as far as I am concerned, I am not there to rock the boat and if the kilt causes them upset-----and it can and sometimes does-----then wearing a suit is a small price to pay. On the other hand, seeing people's faces break into smile when the kilt catches their eye does give me a lift.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 26th December 19 at 07:46 AM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  3. #42
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    Not looking to stir the pot. I think some very early advice in this thread to wear the kilt on the first Sunday in Advent to gauge reaction was brilliant and I hope the OP did so.

    For what it is worth I am a North American non denominational pentecostal. I happen to be the pitmaster of the BBQ team at my church as well, not a deacon or elder or anything like that, but part of the helps ministries; more of my brethren know my name than vice versa.

    If I was visiting a new church for the first time I certainly would not show up in a kilt the first day. On the other hand, if I am going to the bother of wearing a neck tie, I probably will be kilted.

    In general for the "Isn't a kilt a skirt?" question with the implication the wearer is a bit off, a line or response that has worked consistently for me is along the lines: Well yes, technically a kilt is a form of a skirt, but if you cannot tell them apart you are at very high risk of dating extremely ugly women.

    That response will not work in some churches, but it works just fine at mine.

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  5. #43
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    FWIW all the kilted comebacks need to be delivered with manly confident humor. It is a joke, you are letting the person who asked in on a little secret.

  6. #44
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    This may be of no value whatsoever, particularly given that Christmas has come and gone, but...

    While I'm neither a regular churchgoer, nor a regular kilt wearer, I've worn mine in church a few times. Once to attend church with my mother, who was delighted by the kilt but had nothing good to say about my hair color (tanzanite from a tube, if that matters); nobody else among that shrinking congregation raised an eyebrow.

    Once to attend my granddaughter's Episcopalian christening in a rural agricultural community, where the kilt received rave reviews from several strangers and I got a skeptical look from my former father-in-law (note that I regularly receive that look from him, for reasons that must be obvious).

    And once to officiate a wedding, the dress code of which was why I ended up owning a kilt in the first place.

    It is, I believe, a fine garment for semi-formal and formal occasions of dress. As others have pointed out, it may inspire its wearer toward a more neat and finished appearance. And so far, I've not experienced a single comment about it being a "skirt" or abnormal, unmanly wear. Full disclosure: I was on tenterhooks about that prospect for the first several wearings. If you're already specifically anxious about wearing it into your sanctuary, I would strongly suggest wearing it in public several times BEFORE you risk your pastor's possible disapproval, as there is no point being nervous on two scores at once.

    I do hope that you find your worship community to be an accepting group, and generally a refuge from daily stress and worldly cares. A widening of perspective from the prosaic to the cosmic can be invaluable to anyone's serenity -- wherever, and however, it is found.

    Best to you,

    Jack
    Ry'n ni yma o hyd, er gwaethaf pawb a phopeth.

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  8. #45
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    Let's not get too touchy with rule 5.

    To say that this man's pastor might be 'wrong' is a clear violation of both
    To say that a man's pastor is wrong about an observable fact is neither a discussion about religion nor ipso facto incendiary; i.e. debating the metaphysical relationship of kilt wearing to objective ethics would be a violation of rule 5. Simply stating that a kilt is men's wear and should be logically treated as such and thought of as such (With all extensive implications thereof) and folks who don't think so are wrong, is not.

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