Monday, May 31, 2010

Celebrating Graduation...seminary style

by Tim K. Snyder

Yesterday was the 141st Commencement of Luther Seminary. I wasn't graduating, but I was in the procession. For a while now Luther's graduation has taken place at Central Lutheran Church — the largest Lutheran worship space in North America and South America. It's quite the celebration. The faculty are of course all dressed in their academic regalia (from the school in which they graduated from) and the students in their regalia follow them. The crucifer led the procession followed by banners, bells and mylar ribbon kites (see pic). The sanctuary at Central Lutheran preaches itself with its beauty. Speeches, awards, faculty promotions and all the standard elements were there, but also scripture reading, sermon (not a commencement address), prayers and a call to mission were also part of the gathering. It was a ton of fun to participate in.

Now to give you friend Jeppe joined me for the afternoon at Central Lutheran. Jeppe is a doctoral student from Denmark who is spending time at Luther Seminary writing his dissertation. On the way out, Jeppe was just radiant with smiles. He then told me that when he got his bachelors degree in Denmark, he simply walked up to the secretary's office and got a piece of paper. When he got his masters, same a piece of candy. Yep. That was it.

So for all the (perhaps overkill) of the pomp and circumstance of graduation ceremonies...its far more fun then just getting some lame piece of candy.

Thanks to Chris Scharen for snapping these iPhone pics of me wielding my mylar kite outside of Central Lutheran as the bells rung in celebration.

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