Baccalaureate Mass a bittersweet occasion for seniors and family members

by Shannon Grooms

posted on May 17, 2012

Red Cloud High School celebrated its annual Baccalaureate Mass on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.

The Mass was steeped in both Catholic and Lakota tradition. The entrance song was a traditional Lakota prayer song sung by the high school student drum group. This moved into the Wazilyapi (traditional Lakota purification) rite. The entrance processional included a cross bearer, eagle feather staff, and Book of Gospels.

The principal celebrant of the event was RCIS president Fr. George Winzenburg, SJ, who also preached the sermon. Following Communion, and before the concluding rites, the long-time tradition of presenting graduates with a medal of St. Ignatius of Loyola was performed. Once these had been bestowed, the faculty was asked to pray a blessing over the graduates, followed by the families doing the same.

The words to the family blessing are as follows:

Tȟuŋkašila, be with us now as we pray. Look with favor upon our sons and daughters, grandchildren, sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews, for whom this moment is most special.

We your family surround you with our love and prayer as you prepare to graduate from high school.

Tȟuŋkašila, who has graced these graduates with life and health so that they might reach this day, You have blessed each of them abundantly over the years and have carefully prepared them for this important step in life.

We, your family, call down the riches of God’s blessing upon you.

Tȟuŋkašila, bring together and unite all our prayers, our hopes and love into a single blessing for these graduates.

As God blesses you with divine grace, we bless you with our love. Amen.

After the service concluded, the participants made their way over to the new high school student commons, where there was a video presentation by some of the seniors. Following this, the evening’s festivities finished with a meal in Serena Hall.

High school commencement ceremonies will be held this coming Saturday at 10:00am in the fieldhouse.