BSM celebrates its yearly mass tradition

Every year, seniors crowd the middle of the Great Hall to sing Christmas carols.

Em Paquette

Every year, seniors crowd the middle of the Great Hall to sing Christmas carols.

One of the most exciting, yet least productive days of the year is the day before Christmas break. The long Christmas Mass and singalong cause teachers to have little time to plan an actual lesson, which results in several periods of Christmas movies and activities. But, the tradition of the Christmas extravaganza is one that the BSM community always looks forward to.

Over the years, the day before Christmas break has maintained several of its traditions. The community comes together to celebrate Mass and then signs Christmas carols together.  In the past decade or so, a couple things have changed. “We now highlight all of our music programs with the band, orchestra, and choir. Also, the ugly sweaters are on the newer side,” Assistant Principal Ms. Mary Andersen said. Students and faculty used to dress up nice for this Mass, but now people purposely wear clashing colors and hideous sweaters to promote the Christmas spirit.  

Ugly sweaters are a treasure of the Christmas season. They are worn by students, teachers, administrators and no patterns or accessories are even remotely similar. “I enjoy seeing really tall students wearing a clearly too small sweater so their arms are sticking out the sleeves,” Andersen said. From light-up sweaters to antlers and fuzziness, every sweater is one of kind, yet all are disgusting.

Many traditions fall under the umbrella of the morning assembly in the Great Hall.  A program hosted by. Andersen and Mr. Michael Jeremiah follows Mass and proceeds the singalong. “It always goes the same way. There is Mass, then Santa and the program, and then the singalong,” said Andersen.  But, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work to prepare for the program. Andersen and Jeremiah meet with all the music teachers, including Mr. Paul Keefe, Mr. Adam Petroski, Mr. Steve Leung, and Ms. Nancy Stockhaus, to discuss which numbers will be in the program. Then Andersen and Jeremiah have a separate meeting to discuss their theme. 

Following the traditional program, the ceremonial singalong is a time where the whole community belts the cheerful Christmas songs. It’s a custom that the seniors get a big huddle in the middle of the Great Hall and recite the seasonal hymns one last time together. “We realize it’s our last year together and want to make the most of it as one class,” senior Maddie Stoks said.  

After students return to their classes, the school day goes along at a sped up pace due to shortened classes.  Christmas activities and movies are a commonality on this day. “I have never given a lesson on this day, and never will. We do Christmas trivia and have candy. It’s just what we do,” Mr. Dan Bowler said.

With the immensity of excitement from this day, one might think it is an administrative nightmare, but Andersen thinks otherwise. “I used to think it was stressful, but now I know it’s just part of the gig to handle all the excitement,” Andersen said.