For many Latina girls, her quince is a time to change her shoes from the flats slippers of a child, to the tacos (heals) of womanhood. But for these young ladies, the nights festivities begin with a trip to church to make a commitment to live in God’s purpose for her life. This is not to be entered into lightly. This is done after time for reflection and consideration.
Lizbeth C, our church welcomes you. We join your father, your mother, your family and your friends to celebrate with you, your 15 birthday celebration. This is a celebration to life, an acceptance to your duties and responsibilities and an exhortation for you to live a life where God’s love and commandments are your foundation. Living means growing and growing means maturity. A mature person is capable of making wise decisions, making commitments, and being faithful to those decisions, even when it is difficult to follow those commitments.
With your arriving to your 15th year you will see both roses and thorns, and delights and challenges, but with them comes the opportunity to strengthen your spirit and your faith in this, your new life journey.
PRAYER God almighty, we ask for your presence in this ceremony. We ask that you continue to bless Lizzy; give wisdom and understanding to her father and her mother so they can guide, instruct and support her on her journey into adulthood. AMEN.
READING: ECCLESIASTES 11:7-9 In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless. You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Amen!
REFLECTION When we were asked to prepare for Lizzy’s Quinceanero, our church felt ready to help her in any way we could. We thought we knew what a quinceanero was…It’s a time when a girl gets her “first set of heels”. When her family begins to see her as a woman. But there is more to it than that. A quinceanero is the time when a girl has the opportunity to formally let the world know where she stands in her commitment to God. And we at Manantial de Gracia are proud to say, that in front of us, we have a young woman who has a clearer understanding than what we realize about what it means to be committed to Christ.
Most of us know the shy girl that hesitates to speak too loud. The one that sits quietly with her mother, Elizabeth, her brother, Alexis, her aunt and cousins during church service and seems to hesitate when other people look her way. But God is in her, and He likes to show off his marvelous works. Even if Lizzy tries to hide. Sometimes.
Sometimes that quiet girl stands up and sings in church and uses her voice to show how God is working in her life. Courage.! And that shy girl has allowed God into her heart and has opened her heart to other members of the congregation and made friends, friends that stand with her today. Friends that she dances with, friends that she sings with, friends that she talks with. Lizzy has a courageous spirit! It takes courage to open yourself up to new people and new situations. And she definitely has God given courage.
Did you know that Lizzy is part of a group in our church that shows off Gods light through her dance. Today we get to see Lizzy the girl, Lizzy the ballerina, Lizzy the liturgical dancer, dance! And we begin and continue to see the Lizzy that God has in store for her to become.
Today, Lizzy gets to take off her little girl shoes and stand tall in her tacos, one step closer to the woman she will become.
Lizzy, please join us…
As we heard in Ecclesiastes, Lizzy, “however many years [you] may live…enjoy them all!” Give yourself the time needed to enjoy each passing day, each season of your life. The times when you get to “chill” with your girls, or play on-line, or sing, or dance. But also, I ask God that as you continue to “follow the ways of your heart and [that in] whatever your eyes will see,” you will find time to honor Gods purpose for your life! May you continue to grow in courage, to grow in spirit, to grow in love and to strengthen your commitment to Christ!
Pastor: Lizzy you have been instructed in what Christian life is. You know about the new life in Christ. Today before this gathering, you renew your faith and your commitment to God and to your church by voluntarily dedicating your life to God as you understand that He loved you first. By doing this do you resign to sin and accept your future, with its challenges and responsibilities, in accordance with God’s commandments?
Lizzy: Yes, I resign and accept.
Pastor :Do you resign to the devils seductions so you can enjoy God’s freedom?
Lizzy: Yes, I resign.
Pastor: Do you believe in God almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Lizzy: Yes, I believe.
Pastor: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son, who was born from the Virgin Mary, died and resurrected from the death and is sitting next to God?
Lizzy: Yes, I believe.
Pastor: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the universal church, the forgiveness of sin and the resurrection?
Lizzy: Yes, I believe.
SAMPLE DEDICATION PRAYER God, I offer to you my youth, who I am and who I will be. Guide, from today on, all my steps, my actions and my thoughts. Give me knowledge and wisdom so I can understand and comply with your commandments. Bless me in your grace and in your presence all the days of my life thru your son Jesus Christ, my redeemer. AMEN.
COMMITMENT PRAYER (All those that can, should stand) Lizzy we make a commitment to guide and counsel you and ask God to cover you with his grace and his blessings today and always. Amen.
PASTORAL BLESSING Lizzy, may God bless you with his protection. May you continue growing in faith, in love and understanding.