A Quinceañera celebration!

The fiesta de quinceañera, is a celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday. It has its cultural roots in Latin America but is widely celebrated today throughout the Americas. The girl celebrating her 15th birthday is a quinceañera (Spanish pronunciation: [kinseaˈɲeɾa]. This birthday celebration is different from any other as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.

This celebration is very traditional and commonly celebrated. It begins with a Mass of thanksgiving in the Catholic Church to receive the blessing of God, to reaffirm her faith, and to give thanks for another year of life. 

In this Mexican Catholic tradition, she arrives at church accompanied by her parents, godparents, and court of honor. The court of honor is a group of her chosen peers consisting of girls and boys, respectively known as damas (dames) and chambelanes (chamberlains). 

Although a quinceañera celebration is not a sacrament, it is considered a great opportunity for a renewal of faith.  The liturgy begins with the renewal of baptismal promises and a profession of faith.  During this Catholic mass, the quinceañera is gifted several sacramentals and other items, such as a Rosary, or sometimes a necklace with a locket or pendant depicting Mexico's patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe, is presented to the teenager by her godparents. She is also awarded a tiara, which serves as a reminder that to her loved ones, the quinceañera will always be a princess. Some also see it as denoting that she is a "princess" before God and the world. A ring may also be given as a reminder of our Lord's everlasting Love.   
The girl may leave her bouquet of flowers on the altar for the Virgin Mary, and a consecration poem is read by the quinceañera honoring our Blessed Mother. 
After the thanksgiving mass, guests gather for a celebratory reception and dance.

(Adapted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincea%C3%B1era)

                        Quinceañera Pre-requisites for St. Patrick's Catholic Church

In order to celebrate a Quinceañera at St. Patrick's Church:

  • The quinceañera and her family must be registered parishioners of St. Patrick's  Church for at least six months;
  • The quinceañera must have received the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Eucharist and confirmation) or be registered in and attending Faith Formation classes at St. Patrick's  for at least one year.
  • The quinceañera should present a copy of her Baptismal, First Communion and Confirmation certificates before the celebration of the Quinceañera;
  • The quinceañera and family must actively participate in the parish, regularly attending Sunday Mass;
  • The quinceañera must have attended the preparation class/retreat at St. Patrick's Church (usually held on a Saturday from 10:00 until 5:00 p.m. followed by Mass).
  • After all of the above requirements are met, you may visit the St. Patrick's parish office to pay the suggested stipend and to schedule a date for the Quinceañera celebration. No dates may be scheduled more than six months in advance of the desired date. No dates will be scheduled for a Quinceañera until all pre-requisites are completed.
  • The quinceañera must fill out an information form by clicking here.

For more information, or for a copy of the prerequisites for the celebration of a Quinceañera at St. Patrick's Church, please contact the parish office at (308) 254-2828.