As senior year of high school winds down, thoughts turn toward end of the year festivities.  Senior breakfast.  Mock graduation.  Senior trip.  Beach week.  Graduation.  Baccalaureate.

 

Wait.  What was that last one?

 

I've been debating whether or not to go to baccalaureate with most of my class.  Baccalaureate is described by dictionary.com as being a religious service, so you can see where my hesitation comes from.

 

I've talked to friends about what baccalaureate really is, and they think that it will be a Christian service as opposed to a generic spiritual service.  The internet accounts of what baccalaureate is are all contradictory, and I'm not familiar with anyone who could tell me what my school's baccalaureate entails.  I also have two friends performing at baccalaureate, and I'm not sure if I should go to supprt them or stay home and wish them luck.

 

It would be really helpful if you guys could share any baccalaureate experiences, especially how religious it was, and if you could give me your thoughts on what I should do.  I feel like if it isn't too preachy and such, I could suffer through it to listen to my friends perform, but otherwise I think I'll just skip it.

Tags: advice, baccalaureate

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Mine, 40- years ago, consisted of a preacher ranting at us followed by a prayer, attendance was required, if you didn't go, you didn't graduate.
I don't have any direct personal experience with one of these, but I would suspect that it will feel like a Christian church service based on some descriptions I've heard from others. I'd skip it.
no experience with this either but if it isn't required, as it was for Doug, I'd skip it as well.
I'd skip it as well. I don't recall if we had one, but if we did I didn't attend.
Thanks for the advice, everyone! I do think that I'll skip it, now to come up with an explanation for why I'm not going for my mom.
What's the difference between a baccalaureate and graduation? Do you go to a private school?

I agree with everyone else about skipping it if it is nothing more than an overtly religious ceremony; if an event holds no signficance to you and would only provoke irritation, I say that it is not worth the time. Life is too short to be wasted on ceremonial nonsense.
@Shine: Baccalaureate I think is a ceremony used to give a blessing (or some other such religious nonsense) to the graduating class (and is not mandatory), while graduation is actually where the diplomas are given to the graduates (and is mandatory--you know, if you want that silly piece of paper ;) ). And, no, I don't go to a private school (thank goodness, all the privates in the area are Christian schools).
Ah, that makes sense. I graduated from a boarding school--private and Christian, although more like some sort of Transcendental-deism--ten years ago and I cannot remember what the different ceremonies were all called. I just remember that it seemed like there was an assembly every weekend from April through June, lol.

Actually, I think I do remember a blessing ceremony like you describe. We were required to go to all of the events, but as you can see it certainly did not leave any sort of memorable impression on me. I remember having to go to "chapel" regularly, but it was mostly just a student assembly where announcements were made and such. I think that there were occasional prayers, but they never mentioned Jesus; it was always some loose, flexible concept of "Lord" that would fit anybody's religion. That is, of course, unless you didn't have any religion at all. As I was heavily into Taoism at the time, I just sort of zoned out.

I say definitely skip the event if it's public school and not required. The thought of a "blessing" ceremony in conjunction with public education makes my skin crawl. Why would you need a blessing? It just seems to completely detract from any sort of confidence in your own intellectual ability to apply the lessons which you have learned throughout your twelve years of schooling. Students should be told that they are perfectly capable of academic success without supernatural assistance.
In regards to your last paragraph, I agree wholeheartedly. I have always had an issue with people praying for my academic success (or success in any other area) because it seemed like they felt I was/am too weak to do it on my own, under my own power.

However, I think I may end up going anyway as there are four people who want to be in a brass quintet to perform at baccalaureate, and they are missing a tuba player (the quintet has two trumpets, a trombone, a french horn, and a tuba). I had no "real" reason to refuse, and there are only two other people they could have asked, and I feel they would have turned the group down.

Oh, well. I won't participate any more than my role as entertainment requires, and I may learn something while I'm at it. It'll tell me what exactly a public school baccalaureate would entail.
I have always had an issue with people praying for my academic success (or success in any other area) because it seemed like they felt I was/am too weak to do it on my own, under my own power.

Exactly. I remember the last time that I was at the convent to visit my grandmother, my aunt--who is a Catholic nun--remarked to my parents and me that she was always praying for us. Then she stopped, turned to me, and said, "And especially you, with your schooling and all." Later, my mother was just started laughing as wondered aloud if my aunt even realized what she was implying by suggesting that I would need more prayers as a student. I know that it was not her intention to suggest I needed divine help for academic success, but the sentiment is inseparable from whole pray-for-a-student concept.

If you have a reason to go the event, then I think you are making a good decision to attend. Music is always a good reason to be involved in something; performing is never a waste of time, even if the ceremony has a religious overtone. I used to play piano for various churches when I was growing up even if I did not subscribe to the particular faith. I don't think that I would play in church anymore, but I think that your baccalaureate sounds more like a sentimental, traditional ceremony than a church service.

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