School of Divinity

DIY Burns Night

This year in honour of the 175th Anniversary of New College, we're releasing a special playlist of videos featuring some well 'kent faces from New College to take you through the running order of a traditional Burns Supper. #NewCollege175

New College 175 DIY Burns supper

Good company, traditional Scottish food and drink, and a couple of fitting tributes to Scotland's Bard are at the heart of any good Burns Supper. While we cannot be together in person this year, we are bringing a few of these elements to you in a playlist of videos featuring some well ‘kent faces from New College.

We invite you to join us as we take you through the running order of a traditional Burns Supper at home. You can tailor the traditions of the supper to suit your evening by picking and choosing a few of the elements to incorporate, or follow our playlist and suggestions which we'll be posting, here on Monday 25th January. 

So get yourself a haggis, a whisky (or a substitute of choice), and ‘mind to take some photos and tag us @uoedivinity and use the #NewCollege175.


'Welcome and Vote of Thanks' - Professor Helen Bond

Your virtual Chairperson for the evening, Head of the School of Divinity, Helen Bond, welcomes you to the evening’s festivities and gives a Vote of Thanks to all who participate in our virtual Burns Night.

'Selkirk Grace' - Professor Susan Hardman Moore 

Professor Susan Hardman Moore recites the Selkirk Grace. This is typically recited before the haggis is ceremoniously brought to the table!

'Piping in and Address to the Haggis' - Michael Mair 

Be on your feet to greet the 'great chieftain o' the puddin' race' as it is ceremoniously piped in. At traditional Burns Suppers, the chef follows the piper into the room, carrying the haggis in on a silver platter.  

This is followed by a rousing rendition of Burns' Address to a Haggis, performed by Rev Michael Mair above. You can nominate one of your household for this honour at home. After apologising for 'killing' the haggis, they will then dramatically plunge the knife into the haggis. As the speaker recites the final lines of the poem, the platter is raised above their head whilst saying the exultant words 'Gie her a Haggis!' to rapturous applause.

Traditionally, the speeches and other performances of poems and songs take place after the meal has been served and cleared, but you might want to play some of our poetry readings or songs posted below in between courses.

'A Man's A Man for A' That' - Revd. Dr Sandy Forsyth

'A Man's A Man for A' That' accompaniment provided by

'The Immortal Memory' - Professor Stewart J Brown 

Join us as Professor Stewart J Brown recounts the life and legacy of Robert Burns and toasts “To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns.”

'Tam O' Shanter' - Professor David Fergusson

'Toast to the Lassies' - Dr Matthew Novenson 

Matt Novenson delivers this traditional toast to the women present.

'Will Ye No Come Back Again' - Dr Sara Parvis

'Reply to the 'Toast to the Lassies'' - Jessie Fubara-Manuel

Jessie Fubara-Manuel takes the floor to respond to the earlier Toast to the Lassies.

'Auld Lang Syne' - Sarah-Louise Donnelly and Dr Chris Cotter

Join us in a special rendition of Burns’ most famous song, Auld Lang Syne, performed by Divinity’s own Chris Cotter. Join hands in a large circle and sing along. At the line “And here’s a hand”, you cross each of your hands over and clasp the hand of those sanding on either side of you.


We want to see your DIY Burns Night

Get in touch and tag us in your pics @uoedivinity with #NewCollege175.