Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Coming of age with the Spanish Branch YW

One of my YW is having a quinceaneara on Saturday.

At the LDS chapel.

This caused quite a stir among the YW board and some others last night as we passed around the fairly elaborately printed invitation (in Spanish, so most of us dummies could only guess what it said, including me). It's a Catholic ceremony, after all. Can you perform a Catholic blessing inside a Mormon church? Did the branch president know? Had they even scheduled the building? Would they be able to get in?

One person griped about how the building has been so messy lately and "the branch people are the worst offenders."

(Good grief. Don't they realize it's probably my kids crapping everything up? That is, after all, their usual modus operandi. All I have to do for proof is look around the family room where they were playing Nintendo 64 tonight.)

The building scheduler came to pick up his wife and daughter from YW. He said yes, they scheduled it, and no, he didn't realize what it was for.

Then someone went to ask the bishop about it. He told everybody to pipe down, it's no big deal.

I like that there bishop.

More quinceanera tidbits:

A few years ago one of my YW told me her parents wouldn't allow her to have a quinceanera, because all her cousins who had them wound up pregnant shortly thereafter. She has a baby now, unmarried, but she did make it all the way to age 19 before becoming a mother. I guess it could be worse.

Another YW once recounted her adventures at her cousins' quinceanera: Mostly it was all about riding in the backseat of a rented low-rider limousine with hydraulics and making it bounce all night long. With the hydraulics, not any baby-making activities. I have to say, that sounds like fun.

I'll have to post an update on the weekend. I have burning questions: Will she take all our modesty lessons to heart and choose a dress with sleeves? Will there really be a Catholic priest performing the blessing? Will there be hopping cars? We'll see.


SalGal said...

You can have a quincanera without the priest thing! Our friends who converted a couple of years ago are going to have one when K turns 15 just for the fun of it. It's part of their culture! I can't believe some people are making a stink of it. Plus, do they actually think a Catholic priest would do that in a Mormon church???

Silly rabbits, Trix are for kids!

Carolyn said...

This story made me smile because it reminded me of so many similar experiences I had as a Spanish-speaking missionary in Houston. My favorite was on Mother's Day when the Spanish branch had a big party (which I loved. Why don't we do that for our Moms?) with lots of good food and a Mariachi band--paid for by everyone at the party. They just collected the money as the Mariachis were playing.

Lucy said...

I like the bishop too. I know in a world wide church, us anglos need to get used to some traditions that aren't ours. And the gospel can still be true.

Teri Le said...

I loved going to the quinceneras of the girls when I was in YW. That was one benfit of my ex-husband who spoke Spanish, we became a huge part of the spanish branch. And they have the BEST food.

It's like a big sweet 16 type party. One girl explained it to me that it was the tradition of becoming a woman, they get to exchange their little girl shoes (flats) for some with heels.

And, it's a PARTY with presents. YEAH BABY! lol

Maria said...

Quinceañeras are much more of a cultural celebration than a religious celebration, even in the Catholic Church. Regardless, I've attended several quinceañeras in LDS chapels before--in one ward the bishop got so into it that he followed the whole Catholic quinceañera-mass tradition by making everyone go in the chapel to hear a fireside-like talk on modesty, chastity, dating, etc., first, before the party started in the cultural hall. I thought it was an awesome way of combining the two traditions. None of the Catholics in attendance even batted an eye. They were glad their kids were getting an extra dose of instruction on those topics.

As far as holding quinceañeras in the cultural hall goes, to me they are akin to a wedding reception anyway. Which we allow no problem in the church--because they are part of traditional Mormon culture. The people in your ward who were flipping out need to relax a little. :) There are perfectly appropriate ways to blend cultures here.

"Connie" said...

Hi! I'm a "new member" to the LDS church(a year ago). We had a quinceanera for our oldest girl. We held it in the Cultural Hall (appropriately named). Ceremony first, then transformed it into a reception afterwards. Everything went beautifully. "Non" members said It was one of the most spiritual services for a quinceanera that they had ever been to. Yes we "mormonized" it. We tried our best to stick to Young Women's Values. In the traditional quince, five spiritual gifts are given (earrings, necklace, bracelet, ring, bible). For example, we used a quad for the bible. We used Young Woman's value bracelet. We used the "Pure at Heart" necklace with a heart charm. We stuck to the heart theme Ie: the earrings were heart shaped. Her ring was the CTR ring. Instead of "the mass" we had friends and family give talks about each gift and it's representation. Each gift was given after the talk. We had opening and closing prayer and songs. The quince reflected the values of the church and was well received by members and non-members. My daughter has upheld the value of her virtues. She has decided not to date until she is sixteen which is a For the Strength of Youth Standard she re-committed to at her quince. It was a family celebration that extended to our church family.
Imagine our shock and dismay when the Bishop informed us that our youngest daughter would not be allowed to have her quince at the church! Not even just the ceremony!!!!!!!

Ana said...

Connie, welcome and thanks for your comment - I hope you're still reading.

Your daughter's quince sounds lovely.

I wanted to give a little update about what happened with Susana's celebration.

They had her father simply give her a father's blessing in the chapel. Then they moved to a rented hall for the dancing and the rest of the celebration. The dresses were strapless, but the mom talked to one of my fellow YW leaders about it afterward and expressed regret for that choice (of her own accord - not with any prompting from us). When their younger daughter has her celebration I think we will see more modest dresses.

I have since been released from YW but last night I went back to visit and help teach the girls to crochet. I got to sit by Susana and help her. Very fun.