Baccalaureate service brings lasting senior memories


Natasha Menard

Seniors from the class of 2012 celebrate the end of their high school careers at the traditional graduation ceremony. Many seniors might not realize that the baccalaureate offers graduating seniors an additional religious service to be recognized for their accomplishments.

The baccalaureate tradition can be traced back to 1432 at Oxford University where each bachelor was to deliver a Latin sermon in order to graduate and was gifted with laurels afterwards; thus, the ceremony earned the name “baccalaureate.”  The ceremony is given in service to those who have dedicated their lives to learning and wisdom.

“The baccalaureate is a service that a local religious community puts on not for Christians specifically that celebrates graduation,” senior class president Levi Sebahar said.  “It’s essentially giving the kids the blessing for moving on their life.”

On June 9, the Carlsbad community will be hosting its annual baccalaureate service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day’s Saints from 5-6 p.m.

“People can expect speakers like Matt Hall and two musical numbers by the Carlsbad High School choir who will be performing some gnarly Russian songs,” Sebahar said.

Not only will the mayor of Carlsbad be speaking, but also pastor Chris Hilken of North Coast Church, pastor JC Cooper of Rancho del Rey Church, president Steven Pyres of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day’s Saints and Carlton Lund Carlsbad’s Citizen of the Year in 2007 will be giving their blessings.

But, a religious celebration is not the same without music to set the mood.  CHS Chamber Singers will be performing “Bogorotse Devo,” and choir teacher Mrs. Owen will maybe lead one last congregational hymn on the organ.  Students will have the chance to mingle at the end of the service and refreshments will be served.

Although a religious service, it’s also one more opportunity for a senior memory.

“Students should attend, because it’s important to celebrate the more spiritual and emotional, and moral side of growing up and graduating,” Sebahar said.  “To me, it’s a good way to further celebrate the graduating class and ignite the spiritual and the religious community.”