The annual Junior Ring Ceremony took place during The Priory's weekly Tuesday chapel on November 13. In the past, the ring ceremony was a more intimate ceremony with the juniors and advisors in Monteiro Chapel. Today, the event has grown to be a celebration shared with all students in The Priory in The Cathedral of St. Andrew.
The ring symbolizes unity, power, commitment and love. Its circular shape represents a sacred bond that is everlasting. It features Queen Emma's seal, the Coral Cross, and The Priory Cross embedded in a ruby stone. The ring also signifies unity among the junior class, as well as their connection to the school heritage, the school's founder Queen Emma, Christian faith and all the school's alumnae.
Head of School Ruth Fletcher opened the special chapel with a warm welcome to the congregation, which included students, faculty, staff and parents of the junior class. "Today, the seniors have the opportunity to pass on love, leadership and care to the juniors," Fletcher said.
Following Fletcher's welcome, the junior class sang "The Climb" by Jessi Alexander and Job Mabe.
Chaplain Annalise Pasalo greeted the crowd and asked the youngest students if they knew the significance of the chapel. She explained the significance of honoring the juniors with a ring, symbolizing their steps into leadership at this time of their high school journey.
She had a special message for the members of the junior class.
"It is my hope that the ring you receive today is a reminder that you are part of something bigger than yourself," Pasalo said. "You are a legacy and a part of a sisterhood that spans generations. When you look at your ring, I hope that you remember that you are never alone. God is with you on this journey. Never lose faith. And there is an entire school community who supports you and believes in you.
"Perhaps most of all, it is my prayer that when you look at this ring, this symbol of your time at The Priory, you remember that you are loved exactly as you are. And as you climb, never forget to strive for the highest."
Senior Class President Natalie Wong then addressed the juniors.
"Today is the first of many honored traditions your class will share together here at The Priory," Wong said. "The ring you are going to receive symbolizes your transformation into leaders of our school. The ring's design has been the same for over a hundred years. Priory women who came before you and will come after you have this same ring.
"The senior class will be here to support you throughout the rest of your time at The Priory. The ring represents coming full circle and entering the statehood of The Priory. We are so excited to watch you accomplish amazing things. Cherish your ring and may it be a reminder of all the kind, strong and empowered women supporting you."
Following Wong's remarks, Chaplain Annalise blessed the rings while the congregation raised their hands forward for the blessing. This year's ceremony contained a new element. For the first time, the juniors each lit a candle with a member of the senior class. Then, the senior class member presented each junior with a small blue box containing the ring. After all the girls had received their boxes, the Class of 2020 was presented to the congregation and students sang "The Priory Alma Mater."
The chapel service concluded with prayers, the closing hymn and the dismissal.See more photos from this year's Junior Ring Ceremony here.