Kirking of the Sixth Session of the Scottish Parliament


The Kirking of the Sixth Session of the Scottish Parliament will take place on Friday 1 October in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.  His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay will be joined by MSPs, the Presiding Officer, representatives from the diverse faith traditions of Scotland including a representative from the humanist community.

The Reverend Calum MacLeod, Minister of St Giles’ Cathedral will lead the evening service.

After the service, The Duke of Rothesay will attend the Presiding Officer’s reception in Parliament Hall.

The Kirking is adapted from a ceremony performed in the Parliament of Scotland in the Middle Ages.  Following the first election of the new Parliament in 1999, the ceremony was reintroduced and updated to represent a modern-day, diverse, Scotland.

The formal opening of the Parliament will continue on Saturday 2 October, when Her Majesty The Queen will address MSPs, joined by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay.

Music during the service will be played by Seamus O’Baoighill (Fiddle) and Gillis O’Flaherty (Guitar) from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The service includes:

  • A reading by the Presiding Officer, the Alison Johnstone MSP (Luke 10: 25-37)
  • A reading by Christopher Winters, The Boys’ Brigade (Psalm 146: 5-10)
  • A performance by the Choir of St Giles’ Cathedral
  • Interfaith blessings from representatives of a range of faith and humanist communities
  • A sermon by Lord Wallace of Tankerness, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
  • The Act of Commendation
  • The service concludes with the hymn ‘For the Healing of the Nations’.

Contact Information

Tom Malone

The Scottish Parliament

Notes to editors


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.  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).

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, is a conservatoire of dance, drama, music, production and screen in the centre of Glasgow.  Founded in 1845 as the Glasgow Educational Association, it is the busiest performing arts venue in Scotland with over 500 public performances each year.

Brought up on the Isle of Skye, Séamus O’Baoighill was introduced to Scottish Traditional Music through the many sessions around the Gàidhealtachd.  Séamus was previously a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year award and has also performed at several international festivals.  Multi-instrumentalist, Gillis O’Flaherty grew up in the Highlands of Scotland in a musical family.  Gillis spent his last year of school in the National Centre of Excellence in Plockton and is now going into his second year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

The Choir of St Giles’ Cathedral

The Choir of St Giles’ Cathedral is an adult choir of singers drawn from a wide variety of walks of life from the City of Edinburgh and further afield.

Media information

Tom Malone

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