To say that I didn't know much about it would be a vast understatement. And, just in case you aren't too familiar with a Quinceanera, let me share some information with you. (The bold print is some of the liturgy from the service.)
The exact origin of the 15th birthday celebration/QUINCEANERA is unknown but it probably goes back more than 400 years and has its roots in the pre-Columbian rites of passage of some native tribes in Mexico, specifically the Maya, Aztec, and Toltec Tribes.
When a young man reached his 15thbirthday, he was given a shield and sword and he became a warrior. Consequently, he was considered a full member of the society. A young woman, as well, upon reaching her 15th birthday, was ready for adulthood and was presented to the community as a vital part of society. In her capacity for motherhood, she could provide the community with warriors. The ceremony for the young lady included thanksgiving for the future wife and mother, and her commitment to carry out her responsibilities in the community.
The missionaries eventually put the rite for the young woman into a Christian context, at which time she could reaffirm and consecrate her life to the service of the church and the community. This rite for the young woman has remained in our Christian worship and increasingly continues to be celebrated in Hispanic congregations.
For youth who have been baptized, this may be an occasion of gratitude and remembrance of the covenant of water and the word declared at an earlier time.
Traditionally, several symbols are used in this celebration. Some of these include the candle and the Bible.
The Candle – The lighted candle is a symbol of Christ’s presence, the Light of the world, and who invites us so to shine as to be light for others.
The Bible – The Bible represents the primary norm of Christian conduct for the believer. At the same time, it reminds us of the centrality of the Word of God for our lives.
The service as a whole seeks to praise God with a genuine spirit of thanks giving for the special gift of life for the young woman.
The Flower Girl and Escort, Azelyah Hernandez and Charles May (Lynda's brother).
God calls us to celebrate life. We gather today as followers of Jesus Christ to celebrate fifteen years in the life of Lynda Palacios. As we offer thanks to God for Lynda, we join with her in this act of dedication to discipleship in Jesus Christ and service to his kingdom. Welcome! Let us celebrate and praise joyfully.
O Creator, God of the universe, we praise your holy name for the life of Lynda Palacios. We rejoice that she has come to that time in her life when she assumes new and greater responsibilities. We affirm Lynda at this time of joy and celebration. This is a time of thanksgiving for the past and visions and challenges for the future. We acknowledge that this is a time of commitment, not only to the highest ideals of life but also to the saving grace and sovereignty of Christ in her life. Accept her life in true commitment and fill her heart with joy, and grant that your peace may come to abide in her heart for ever, through Jesus Christ, our Sovereign and Savior. Amen.
Celebrating Holy Communion
Gracious God, grant your guidance, strength and protection to Lynda Palacios. Confirm by your Holy Spirit, her desire to grow in faith, in hope, and in love. Let her life be an able instrument to serve her neighbor, that your name may be praised. Along with Lynda, help us to love and serve you more faithfully each day until your kingdom comes and your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Through Jesus, your Son and our Savior, we pray. Amen.
The folks from F. Read Hopkins Pediatrics.
Signing the Guest Book
Lynda with her brother, Jaime A Palacios Jr.
Lynda received her last doll, her Quinceanera doll.
The Quinceanera Cake
Cutting the Cake
A great day of Friends and Family