Kirking of the parliament

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The kirking of the parliament is a modern ceremony, adapted from those performed in the original Parliament of Scotland which was founded in the Middle Ages and adjourned in 1707.[1] It was re-introduced as a multi-faith service to coincide with the opening of the Scottish Parliament which was devolved from the United Kingdom Parliament and reconvened in 1999.[2][3] It takes place every 4 years.[4]


The Kirking is led by the Minister of St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, while the sermon is given by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.[5] The services have typically consisted of readings from the Bible, the Qur'an, and Jewish prayers,[6] and are concluded by an act of commendation.


The service is attended by the leaders of all the main parties[7] and previous Kirkings have been attended by the Duke of Rothesay, musicians from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, as well as lobbyists.


  1. ^ "First Qur'anic Recitation in the History of Kirking Ceremony". Al-Maktoum Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies.
  2. ^ Earl of Wessex at Kirking of new Scottish Parliament
  3. ^ "Continuity and change: the cultureof ritual and procession in the parliaments of Scotland" (PDF). Stirling University.
  4. ^ "The Electoral System for the Scottish Parliament". The Scottish Parliament. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Prince Charles attends Kirking of Scottish Parliament". BBC News. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Kirking of the Parliament from the Scottish Parliament website". Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  7. ^ Prince attends Kirking ceremony