Traditional celebration of life and gratitude.

The quinceañera is a traditional celebration of life and gratitude to God on the occasion of the fifteenth birthday of a young girl in the Hispanic/Latino community.

The ritual emphasizes the transition that occurs in the life of this young woman. This time of transition, in the Episcopal Church, focuses on the renewal of the Baptismal Covenant and connecting the young woman to a life of community and support at this important time in her life. Typically, the family requests a Mass or blessing to be celebrated in the Church.

At the Episcopal Church of San Marcos, we believe in the importance of this event, which is why we invite parents, godparents and the quinceañera to actively integrate into our community of faith. Parents and godparents are invited to take part in the adult formation every Sunday at 12:30 pm in the church. The fifteen-year-old is invited to participate in formation classes at the church every Sunday at 12:30 pm and to join the parish youth group. Training has a very important role for us and we want it to be taken seriously in the life of the quinceañera and her entire family.

The rite is frequently celebrated in several countries in the Americas, including Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. In the presence of family and friends, the young woman, often accompanied by men and women of her choosing, (ladies and chamberlains), enters the Church in procession, together with her parents and godparents. If she has prepared the readings, she can serve as a reader for at least one of the scriptures. After the Liturgy of the Word, the quinceañera makes a commitment, to God and the Blessed Virgin, to live the rest of her life in accordance with the teachings of Christ and the Church by renewing her Baptismal promises. Afterwards, signs of faith (medal, Bible, rosary, prayer book) can be blessed and given as gifts. A special blessing for the quinceañera concludes the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

It is important to remember the spirit of reverence and respect in and with the church. The church is not a room that is rented for this event. It is a community of faith and home to many families who love and respect it. We invite people who want to celebrate a quinceañera at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church to commit to this.

Laura Waterman

Office Manager