Baccalaureate is a service of blessing for grads.
There are typically two final ceremonies for graduates: baccalaureate and commencement. Baccalaureate comes from the Latin, which means “advanced student.” Commencement means “the act of beginning something,” such as your new life as an adult!
A baccalaureate service is a Christian worship service of blessing and celebration that can be held at a church or other location. At public schools it is organized by students, sometimes with the assistance of parents and a local church or other community leaders. Usually, it is a simple, nondenominational service within a week prior to graduation. It typically consists of readings of scripture or other inspirational material, prayers, music and a message of encouragement for the graduating seniors, who wear their gowns, caps and tassels and process into the service together, much as they would for graduation.
Commencement is a formal ceremony when high school diplomas or college diplomas or advanced degrees are conferred on students. Commencement ceremonies are the same all over the country, with students processing to Sir Edward Elgar’s March No. 1, what we know as “Pomp and Circumstance.” The rest of the program usually consists of inspirational speeches from students, faculty and/or other community members or personalities and perhaps some special awards.
What do you do for these, graduate?
1. Secure your own gown, cap and tassel — and lightly press the gown so there are no wrinkles.
2. Wear appropriate clothes underneath–collared shirt and slacks for men and discreet clothing for women. Dress up! It’s a big deal for your family and friends.
3. Follow rules about whether or not you can decorate the top of your mortar board (cap)–make it appropriate. You are a reflection of your family and school. Do not assume you can wear a lei or other outside decoration. Find out in advance.
4. Lastly, smile and enjoy every moment. You’re making memories for a lifetime for yourself and others!
Blessings . . . and again, congratulations!