What Is a Baccalaureate Mass?

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A baccalaureate Mass is a liturgical ceremony offered by schools that are connected with the Catholic Church. The celebration honors the senior class graduating from the eighth grade, high school or college.

The celebration is a thanksgiving ceremony to honor and thank God for the blessings given to the graduating students and to their families. These events are not school sponsored in American public schools due to the ruling of separation of church and state. However, they are held at private buildings that are not paid for by public school funding. The practice originates from a practice at the University of Oxford where bachelors delivered sermons in Latin in order to graduate. The practice began in 1423.