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Interfaith baccalaureate returns for 2021

Another sign of Claremont returning to a more normal, pre-pandemic state—the Claremont Interfaith Council announced this week that its baccalaureate will be conducted in-person this year.

The annual interfaith service will be held on Sunday, June 13 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of the Claremont United Church of Christ, which is on the corner of Harvard Avenue and Sixth Street in Claremont. The event will also be livestreamed on social media.

“This is an important milestone in our return to being able to do the things that in the past have been so vital,” said Rev. Dr. Thom Johnson, current CIC president. “Many people say that the baccalaureate service is the most uplifting event they take part in each year, and it will be so moving to have the students and their families celebrate again.”

The Claremont High ASB Board has been instrumental in planning for this event, which comes four days prior to the CHS graduation ceremony and the day after prom. The baccalaureate is open to any student graduating from a high school in Claremont.

“A Claremont tradition for decades, the revived gathering will include contributions, both spoken word and musical, primarily from graduating seniors, highlighting their own personal spiritual connections and the way those relationships have supported their high school journeys, especially during the past year and one half when we were all impacted by COVID-19,” the interfaith council said in a news release.

In addition to the seniors, members of local clergy will participate and there will be a virtual musical contribution the Claremont High Chamber Singers.

“Ever since we came to Claremont 15 years ago, we’ve looked forward to this service,” said Cantor Paul Buch of Temple Beth Israel, whose son Sam is part of the 2021 class. “I’m so glad that the pandemic has abated to the point where families can gather again like this and honor what these kids have experienced.”

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