Last night we had the privilege of having the auxiliary bishop of our diocese preside over what has come to be our annual graduation mass. We had 5 eighth grade graduates and 10 high school graduates participate in the ceremony. Some might argue that having a graduation ceremony for homeschoolers makes it too much like the regular school system. I like to think of it as taking the good from two different situations and combining them into one beautiful event. We began the evening with Mass presided over by the Bishop. There were two high school graduates who gave short addresses before mass and two that gave them at the end of the ceremony. Each of the graduates was called forward to receive their diploma (made by the parents) from the Bishop and then had the opportunity to kiss his ring.
What a blessing these students received as they move forward to begin the next phase of their lives - whether it be high school or where ever God calls them. It is also a nice way for the students, who are used to being in a school setting with only their siblings, to form a common bond with others their own age. The parents, meanwhile, got a chance to watch proudly as their students processed in and out. We even got a pat on the back from the Bishop. The best part was that we got to be spectators and not the ones in charge.
Overall, I think this is a wonderful tradition that our homeschool group has begun. If you are part of a homeschool group who does not do something like this, I would highly encourage you to give it some thought. Even if you aren't part of a group and are interested in being involved in something like this, look around your area for other homeschoolers who might be interested and see if you can get it started. It is a great way to celebrate your child's achievement as well as bring glory to God through the celebration of the Mass.