Tuen's Blog

Infrequent diary of a procrastinator

Jie’s Valedictory

Written By: Tuen - Oct• 24•07

Last evening, we attended Jie’s valedictory.  The term valedictory is foreign to Singaporeans, because we don’t use it.  But apparently, it means farewell, or a farewell oration delivered by the most outstanding student.  Anyway, the event consisted of a high mass at St. Patrick’s cathedral followed by quite a sumptuous dinner at the Sofitel hotel.

I enjoyed the mass at the cathedral very much.  It was a very grand affair and began with a procession of students carrying the school colours, teachers and the alter servers and priest.  The singing was very beautiful, and was performed by the school’s choir (which incidentally, sings at the cathedral every Sunday).  The sermon by the priest and the reflections by the year 12 students were also touching.  But over and above all of that, for me, it was the experience of attending mass in a beautiful cathedral attended by over 500 people that I found very sanctifying (never mind that many in the congregation probably attend mass only a few times a year, or not at all).  Attending mass with a large congregation, in a cathedral, is somehow quite a different experience from attending mass in a small parish church with a small congregation.  Certainly, it’s the same God, and it could even be the same priest; but the atmosphere of a large cathedral, the resonance of the music, singing and sermon, the stained glass windows and high vaulted ceiling, the large congregation all contribute toward creating a special ambiance and experience.  It reminded me very much of my visit years ago to St. Peter’s basilica in Rome and to the healing masses at Lourdes.

OK, enough of that.  The dinner at the Sofitel was very pleasant as well.  We sat together with the Chongs of course, because Al was also graduating, and with another friend of the boys, Tam, and Tam’s brother and mum.  It was nice to see the boys’ camaraderie and the friendships they had developed over the years.  The speeches and the responses were all very meaningful and inspiring as well.  The food was excellent, and we were told that we had already been charged for the event in our school fees, so we ate with relish.  I felt very bloated after the event.

Overall, an excellent night of celebration.  It would be interesting to compare it with Melissa’s valedictory tonight, which I shall post about tomorrow.


Full photoset here:

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One Comment

  1. christina says:

    Very nice pic. All of you look so good, and happy , and proud….especially the young and pretty mothers! Congrats to the young men….

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