With graduation ceremonies approaching, many students would want to know what a baccalaureate is and why it has to be celebrated alongside graduation. Apart from the traditional commencement service, the valedictory speech, and congratulatory handshakes that come with it, most high schools still hold baccalaureate ceremonies. For many people, this can be quite confusing, considering the time it falls into and all the activities surrounding it. If you are in this category of people, then this article will make it all clear to you.
Like graduations, baccalaureate events are held for honoring graduates in church. Although religious-related, this interdenominational event has gained popularity over time. This article will focus on discussing everything about a baccalaureate, as well as reasons to attend. Read on to learn the answers to your questions about baccalaureates.
What Exactly is a High School Baccalaureate?
The best way to explain a baccalaureate service is as a celebration held to honor graduating senior class students from high schools or colleges. This is typically a Christianity-based service that cuts across different denominations. Its origin can, however, be traced to the Catholic faith, hence its strict Catholic nature. Institutions affiliated with the Catholic Church or its religious institutes typically refer to it as a baccalaureate mass.
It’s important to note that the service holds within a couple of weeks around graduation. It would usually fall on either of the Sundays before or after graduation. Most speakers selected to speak in the event are community leaders, local religious leaders, faculty members, or students. To add more life to the event, speeches are usually intermixed with worship sessions, dramas, and musical performances. These events used to last for as long as four hours, but recently Baccalaureates have been adjusted to last just a little more than half an hour.
Why Do High Schools Have a Baccalaureate?
While the popularity of school-sponsored baccalaureate events may be dwindling due to the push to keep Christian religious influences out of the public school system, we can’t deny that it was once a common part of the final years of a senior in high school. Most students still look forward to this event and would do everything to prepare well for it. The question often asked, however, is why the celebration of a baccalaureate ceremony in high school? There are several reasons for the adoption of this tradition. Below are a few of them.
1. To mark the end of students’ academic career
Traditionally, the main reason why schools hold baccalaureate events is to mark and celebrate the end of students’ academic careers. This period marks a significant milestone for most students, and it’s only right to celebrate this period with them and show them that you support them wholly. Apart from showing support, this event also encourages them to embrace the next phase of life, knowing that they have the people around to encourage them.
2. Gives students the needed courage to move on
A baccalaureate event is especially important for students that may feel frightened or intimidated about the future. As expected, it is an event that brings students together and challenges them to think about their future in the right way. As seniors, it’s natural to sometimes get scared of what lies ahead. Therefore, it’s a positive thing to encourage them and help them ease into the tradition.
3. An opportunity to bless students
There’s no better feeling than knowing that the people you love most are totally in support of your aspirations. Baccalaureates are an opportunity to give high school graduates blessings as they move on to college. The blessings would help students recognize that they have many supports surrounding them as they walk into their future. It’s also an event where students realize that they have people to talk to outside of their immediate family members. It’s a new experience for students as they go into the world by themselves.
When is a High School Baccalaureate Typically Held?
Since it’s a service for honoring graduates in church, it is only logical that it holds a few days before the commencement ceremony. Typically, you’ll find that the number of attendees does not match the number of attendees for commencement ceremonies. Family members who cannot attend graduation ceremonies in large event venues can turn to the baccalaureate since it is held in smaller facilities and offers a less challenging space for maneuvering.
Where It’s Held
Most baccalaureates are held in places of worship. As explained earlier, the baccalaureate is a non-denominational spiritual event held to honor public school graduates and help them find a spiritual meaning to life. They are also introduced to how they can align such spiritual purposes to their personal beliefs. In private schools, the baccalaureate event comes with a stronger religious tone to ensure that it corresponds with the school’s religious tenets. One of the primary reasons that the ceremony is held in a worship house is to encourage graduates and attendees to slow down and appreciate the moment. Everyone gets into the moment and let emotions freely flow in and out.
Why Attend a High School Baccalaureate Event?
Baccalaureate events are often an emotional and moving experience for students and their family members. This event also moves administrators and teachers. At this point, most participating students already have the wait of college admissions, grades, and job search lifted off their shoulders. Therefore, you will most likely see a pure feeling of delight, relief, and pride among participants and their family members.
Students, as well as their family and friends, typically come to this heartfelt ceremony well dressed up and ready to party. Attendees are usually as relaxed and boisterous as they are in graduation ceremonies, sometimes even more. You’ll usually see young men in sports coats and ties during this event, while young women dress in gowns and beautiful heels. The calmer and quieter time around Baccalaureates tends to make graduating students feel all grown up already. Apart from the feeling of fulfillment that comes with attending a baccalaureate event, there are several other reasons to attend. Check out a few highlights below.
1. An opportunity to celebrate with family members before the start of the mad rush of graduation
Graduation is coming, and you are probably looking forward to all the celebrations that will happen. However, a baccalaureate offers you an excellent opportunity to celebrate with your family and those close to you. It’s also an ideal time to take several family photos that you might not have the chance to take during graduation. This would be even more special if everyone has put in effort into looking nice for the event.
Depending on how good your planning is, photos taken at baccalaureate events can be as special as those taken on the graduation day. So, while planning for your baccalaureate, get a good photographer, dress well, and get ready to take exciting photos with family members.
2. You’ll create memories that will last a lifetime
Pictures are an excellent opportunity to preserve memories. But beyond the photographs that you’ll take at your baccalaureate, several fascinating events that you can’t wipe off your memory would occur. Your family can even be fortunate enough to have a student billed to deliver a baccalaureate speech at the event. If such happens, taking a video is acceptable. Your son or daughter would grow to watch how they expressed their feelings in one of the most memorable occasions of their life. As a parent, you’ll forever be proud of watching your kid speak with so much courage and enthusiasm at such a young age.
3. Offers an opportunity to plan a private graduation party
Apart from the frenzy that comes with attending graduation parties, many graduating students would want to plan a part of their own too. A baccalaureate is an excellent opportunity for you to plan a party of your own, outside the several graduating parties planned in each graduating class. Baccalaureate events are typically held in the afternoon or evening of a weekday, so you’ll have enough time to celebrate with your graduate and close relatives as a way to honor your child without needing to compete with other parties.
While commencement is typically the main event, baccalaureates offer parents and students a more substantive and meaningful experience. If you are contemplating attending a baccalaureate, then you probably should.
What Do You Wear to a High School Baccalaureate?
Despite being one of the most important events during graduation, bachelorettes are often ruined by simple decisions like what to wear. If you are looking forward to a baccalaureate, you should plan what to wear beforehand. The availability of several events for graduating students can make the process of selecting what to wear somewhat overwhelming. The questions are often too numerous, ranging from, “should I go more casual?” to, “do men wear ties?” And “should I wear heels?”
Like your graduation and other milestone events, the bachelorette event is a great photo opportunity for families. You don’t want to ruin it by wearing a wrong dress to the event. With sisters, brothers, parents, and grandparents in attendance, you’ll always fancy the idea of getting a good picture of the whole extended family. This means that your dress choice for the day could be on display on the wall for years to come. While dressing to look great for photos, however, you also want to stay as comfortable as possible.
As a parent, you should consider your graduate school too. Some schools are not as loud as others, then it comes to preparing for such events. While it’s a momentous day for your graduate and the family, your fashion is not necessarily a reflection of the significance of your graduate’s achievements. If the event would hold in a relatively hotter environment, you need to wear something that wouldn’t cause you more heat than you can bear.
Also, bear in mind that baccalaureates are typically held in campus chapels, so your clothing choice should be a little more refined and subdued. Generally, you are advised to dress like you usually would if you attend a religious service for a special occasion.
Wrapping Think Up: What is a High School Baccalaureate
There you have it, a detailed look into what a high school Baccalaureate is. As we’ve discussed so far, a baccalaureate is an interdenominational event organized to honor high school graduates in church. With its history dating to as far back as 1432, the baccalaureate event has been modified to meet modern needs. The most significant benefit of this event is its ability to make students feel honored and ready to take on the next phase of life.
Throughout this article, we’ve discussed possible questions about a baccalaureate event. We’ve also explained why the event is important to students and their families. The ceremony itself is quite serious, with emphasis on reflection. However, the ceremony’s nature might often mean that only close friends and family members would attend.