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      What is a Baccalaureate Ceremony?

      Graduates and parents aren't just attending Graduation but also Baccalaureate Ceremonies.

      Baccalaureate Ceremonies are a religious ceremony or service that honors graduates in the high school and college level.

      These ceremonies go all the way back to the 15th Century in England when religious leaders honored graduates at Oxford University as they gathered to praise god for helping them get through those years of schooling, hard work, and finding their purpose in life.

      This ceremony then transitioned to religious schools in America then public schools.

      "It's about giving thanks for the four years and asking for God's blessing on the years to come. There is usually a speaker that has faith foundation or basis to it. There will also be some scriptures read, prayer, religious songs, things like that. It's a service that is put together to honor the graduates and to pray for them now and in the future," said Father Chris Cordes of Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Kirksville.

      The Catholic Newman Center held a Baccalaureate Mass for Truman State University's graduates Saturday.

      Macon R-I High School seniors had their Baccalaureate Ceremony last Sunday while Kirksville High School will be having it next Sunday May 19.