The meetings are open to anyone interested in helping plan the Candle and Rose ceremony and reception.
If you are interested in serving on the committee please email Norah Collins at

The essence of the Dominican University Candle and Rose is unchanging. In Caritas (charity) and Veritas (truth), Candle and Rose stand testament to the many years of Dominican tradition in River Forest. The first ceremony was held in 1928, encouraged by Sr. Constanza, an English professor at Rosary College. Held on the North Terrace, as Lewis Hall was not yet built, students marched in rows of 15, commemorative of the mysteries of the rosary.

                Graduating seniors walk with lit candles; their partners, generally underclassmen, carry roses. Two lines process across the upper and lower Cloister Walks, assembling in the Quadrangle. The symbolism of this event is explained, and the exchange of the candle and rose is made. The seniors are reminded to be faithful to the teachings and standards of the Dominican tradition. They receive a rose as a living symbol of the beauty, love and compassion they have experienced at Dominican. The rose, long held dear in the Dominican shield, holds the promise of Caritas. The seniors bestow upon their partners the truth and knowledge they have gained. Each senior will present the candle to his/her partner as a symbol of the light of learning. The candle symbolizes the light of knowledge, the light of Veritas. Light is passed from the senior graduates to their partners.

                Until the mid-1970s, Candle and Rose was limited to seniors and juniors only. In fact, during the early years of Rosary College, the Cloister Walk was the exclusive domain of the sisters and seniors-a junior was afforded her first steps across its sacred stones as she participated in the ceremony. As we’ve evolved as a community, the person most representative of Caritas Veritas in the graduating senior’s life is afforded the special honor of marching on the Cloister Walk. In addition, long white dresses, de rigueur for the juniors during the 1950s and 1960s, are no longer required.

                Candle and Rose represents tradition: the Dominican tradition of truth and charity. Through the years, Candle and Rose is the most stunning representation of Dominican values-St. Clara’s College to Rosary College-Rosary College to Dominican University. As the curtain of time closes ever diligently each graduation eve, a diverse, holistic community of faith stands ever strong, moving progressively forward, meeting the challenges of a complex, dynamic world. Dominican University’s Candle and Rose ceremony speaks of the ages, of Dominican tradition, of Rosary pride, of a history that began in 1901 in Sinsinawa, WI.

Seniors can sign up to participate in the Candle and Rose ceremony during the Countdown to Commencement event in April.
All seniors participating in the Candle and Rose ceremony need to wear caps and gowns. 

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Students have an opportunity to have an active role in the Candle and Rose ceremony by being selected to have a speaking role. 
The following speaking roles are available:
Master of Ceremonies - a student is selected that will introduce the various aspects of the ceremony.  A script will be available at the audition if you are interested in this role.
Invocation - a student will be selected to offer an opening prayer.  The student must submit a copy of the prayer they wrote at the time of the audition.
Speeches - two to five students are selected to offer a personal reflection.  A speech should be three to five minutes in length.  A copy of the speech must be submitted at the audition.  Students that are selected to give a speech may be asked to shorten/edit the speech.  A speech should not be a personal list of thank yous.
If you are considering auditioning to give a speech here are some prompts to assist you:
            How have your experiences at Dominican - academic, spiritual, social - changed  you?
            What are your fondest and most significant memories of Dominican -not only personal, but those shared with others?
            How have your experiences at Dominican prepared you for the "real world"?   
            How have you embraced the mission and motto of the university as a student?
            How will you continue to live the mission after graduation?
Exchange of the Candle and Rose - a senior and the rose will assist in the facilitation of the Candle and Rose exchange through reading the meaning of the symbols.  A script will be provided at the audition.
Benediction - a senior will be selected to offer a closing prayer.  A copy of the prayer must be submitted to the selection committee at the audition.
All students that are interested in any of the above speaking roles will need to audition.  Auditions will be in March.
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