BRAWLEY – Brawley Union High parents presented an array of young graduates and local pastors to speak Sunday at the annual baccalaureate for graduating seniors at Palmer Performing Art Center. The tradition of baccalaureate ceremonies dates back to the early 1920s for BUHS, but the rite itself originates much earlier.
The centuries-old religious graduation tradition began in England, however, in the United States, the term generally refers to a non-denominational ceremony held a few days before high school or college graduation. Unlike the massive commencement exercises held in stadiums or arenas, baccalaureate ceremonies offer a quieter, more intimate opportunity to pause and reflect on the rite of passage, hear local leaders offer advice to the graduating class and enjoy local musical talents.
The Brawley ceremony rested on the four pillars of strength, love, wisdom, and trust, all directed towards God.
Students led the flag salute, said welcoming comments and opening prayers and sang the classic Christian hymn, “Amazing Grace.” Senior Jaymi Sanchez read Bible scripture on strength while Father Ed Horning of the Catholic Churches in Westmorland and Brawley gave a personal heart-warming homily on God’s strength.
Senior Nathan Montalvo read 1 Corinthians 13:11-13 on love before a tender introduction of his father, Minister Patrick Montalvo whose devotion centered on loving God first.
Senior Cameron Abatti introduced Presbyterian Pastor Jim Pazan with a reading on wisdom. Pazan reminded the students and parents that whether the future is higher education or not, life is a learning process, and he advised them to be wise and learn the things of God.
Finally, senior Christian Nunez read from Romans 8:39 before announcing he would be giving the devotion as he plans to enter ministry as his career one day. His talk centered on trust and success in God’s eyes.
The Iglesia Cristiana El Refugio praise band offered two songs in Spanish, “En Tu Luz” and “How Great is our God.”
Madison Abatti and Christian Nunez later prayed a benediction over the seniors in English and Spanish, respectively.
The BUHS class of 2016 will graduate Thursday, June 9 at Warne Field.[envira-gallery id=”78613″]