A Quinceañera is the Hispanic tradition of celebrating a young girl’s coming of age – her 15th birthday.
Many people have different perspective of why we have a Quinceañera. Some may say to bring family together or just simply honoring the 15 year old to what she has become, a lady. Here are two websites who have their opinion of the question, WHY?
Why Is A Quinceañera Celebrated?
In the presence of family and friends, the young woman (the Quinceañera), often accompanied by fifteen young men and women of her choice, (damas y chambelanes), enters the Church in procession, together with her parents and godparents. If she has prepared the readings, she may serve as the lector for at least one of the readings.
After the Liturgy of the Word, the Quinceañera makes a commitment to God and the Blessed Virgin to live out the rest of her life according to the teachings of Christ and the Church by renewing her Baptismal promises. Then, signs of faith (medal, Bible, rosary, prayer book) which have been blessed and may be given to her. A special blessing of the Quinceañera concludes the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
After Mass, the young woman is presented to the community. The ritual continues with a dinner and sometimes a dance in her honor.
How Is It Celebrated?
A young Quinceañera is accompanied by a head chamberlain, seven chamberlains, seven maids of honor (Typically they will all wear same color and style gowns to coordinate with Quinceañera gown and the boys wear coordinating tuxedos), her padrinos, and her parents. One of the oldest traditions of the Quinceañera is a Father/Daughter dance.
This is an important symbol of his recognition that his little girl is now a lady and should be treated as such.
Do They Have To Be Religious?
The ritual may be celebrated simply, outside Mass with the young woman, accompanied by her parents and godparents, coming before the priest or deacon to receive a special blessing in the Church.
Or, there may be a more elaborate celebration with elegant clothes, flowers, music and decorations and with more than one priest presiding.
The Quinceañera and fifteen young men and women of her choice are joined by members of her family and friends for the celebration. The priest(s) or deacon has a key role as the one who represents the Church and who prays the blessing over the young woman.
The local community is also encouraged to gather for the celebration.
What Do Decorations Look Like?
Do you need a lot of money to celebrate? Absolutely not. Does this celebration sometimes become too costly and extravagant?
Unfortunately, the advantage of living in a country where material things are readily available often encourages families to give into a competitive consumerism and spend exorbitant sums on such celebrations. The same tendency is often seen in the planning of celebrations of the Sacrament of Marriage.
What Are the Basics?
- Confetti, rice, flower petals, birdseed and bubbles may not be scattered around the Church.
- Photography and video are allowed within the reasonable bounds of good taste and remembering that the ceremony is taking place within the House of God. Please consult your priest regarding flash photography and video during the Ceremony.
- Our Church does not contract with Musicians for private ceremonies. If you would like to have music at your ceremony please get permission from the Parish Office to contract with a musical group of your preference.