Kirking of the Parliament


The Kirking of the Parliament takes place on Tuesday 10 May in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh.  His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex will be joined by newly elected MSPs, representatives of Scotland’s faiths and other guests from across Scotland.

The Very Reverend Gilleasbuig Macmillan, who led the Kirking ceremonies in 1999, 2003 and 2007, will lead the evening service.

Guests will be greeted by music performed by members of the National Jazz Youth Orchestra of Scotland.

Two orchestra members, John Lowrie on drums and Peter Johnstone on piano, are also semi-finalists in the Young Scottish Jazz Musician 2011. Both are students at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and will be joined by saxophonist Matthew Herd from the University of Strathclyde.

The service includes:

  • A reading by the Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson (Matthew 5:1-16 and 1 Peter 2:13-17).
  • Readings from Sohail Ashfaq, Imam from Blackhall Mosque in Edinburgh and Ephraim Borowski the Director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.
  • A sermon by the The Most Reverend Mario Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow.
  • The act of commendation.

The service concludes with the hymn 'Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise'. After the service, The Earl of Wessex will meet party leaders, before attending the Presiding Officer’s reception in the Signet Library.

Background on St Giles’ Cathedral

St Giles’ Cathedral is the historic City Church of Edinburgh with its famed crown spire on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is Presbyterianism’s Mother Church and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland’s chivalric company of knights headed by The Queen).

Background on National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland

The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) provides music education and performance experience for young musicians throughout Scotland. Running six national youth ensembles, including NYJOS, the NYOS organises training, intensive rehearsals and national and international concert tours. NYOS is committed to introducing musical experiences to all of Scotland’s young people through workshops in Scotland’s nursery, primary and secondary schools.

A royal rota is in operation for the Kirking of the Parliament as issued by the Palace of Holyrood House on 6 May 2011.

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