Why do we have a Rose Ceremony?
At Summerfield, the Seniors give a rose to their new First Grade buddy at the beginning of the school year.
The rose has been an important symbol in many cultures since ancient times. In most interpretations there is the sense of ideal beauty. One can see in the image of the Rose the combination of ideal and real. This mirrors the non-material and bodily nature of the human being.
The union of ideal and real is alike the nature of the human and the higher self of an individual. The journey to awaken and strengthen the higher self by looking at nature is an essential aspect and goal of Waldorf education.
The Rose Ceremony is an event that marks the transition from one stage of life to another.
With the passing of a rose between the oldest and youngest students in the school, we can see the entirety of the curriculum represented. While some Waldorf schools hold their Rose Ceremony between First and Eighth graders, Summerfield continues to high school. Therefore, the 12th Graders are with the new First Graders.
Each child, parent, and teacher in the school has their own experiences of this journey, so all are included in the Rose Ceremony.
The children in the Early Childhood programs, who have not yet embarked on the journey of the formal curriculum, are also included. This is because we can still see the preschooler in the brand new First Grader. And we look forward to the younger ones readying themselves for the grades.
The Rose Ceremony preparation begins when the 12th Grade and the 1st Grade buddies meet for the first time. The First Grader takes the hand of the Senior, knowing that they will be led by a strong and noble individual. The Senior receives unconditional love from one who naturally sees his higher self.
The 12th Graders sing a song to the 1st Graders during the ceremony.
Each of the participants and observers share the experience of being on one journey; some farther along, some just beginning. The Summerfield community holds dear these moments of celebration.
We begin the school year with the Rose Ceremony to call forth our attention to our mission, show the community a symbol of our journey, and celebrate our gratitude for such a rich education and a place for it to unfold.