One of the many senior send off traditions we have is the Baccalaureate Mass where we celebrate the last mass with the seniors and induct the new ones. This mass takes place the morning of graduation. The teachers and seniors come in their cap and gowns, and they process into the theater separate than the rest of the student body and family. The bishop presides if he is able with the help of our chaplain, Father O’Neil. After the mass has ended they clear the stage for the presentation of roses, the Saint Cecilia girl stands in front of the stage with the president of the Alumnae and hands each graduating girl a traditional St. Cecilia rose and a statue of Saint Cecilia from Rome. One by one the girls come up and their parents stand when the girl’s name is called. The girl then gives the rose to her family in appreciation for the sacrifices made to support them at ST. Cecilia.
After the girls are called they proceed to the back of the stage where they receive a candle. They light the candle with the one in the middle next to the Saint Cecilia statue and stand in the back. After everyone has been called and they are all standing in the back of the stage with their candles the juniors are asked to come up to the stage with an unlit candle. Each junior stands in front of a senior, and someone on the stage will say some words and the seniors will light the juniors candle and blow out theirs. They then present the new senior class and ask the current seniors to take a seat. The passing of the light signifies the passing of leadership from one class to the next. This is not only an emotional day for the seniors but for the juniors as well because they now are entrusted with the leadership of the school, and realize that next year it will be them being sent off. For the seniors it makes the end become so real because they are sent off to start a new chapter of their lives.
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