The quinceañera is a traditional celebration of life and gratitude to God on the occasion of the 15th birthday of a young woman. We offer guidelines for this ritual, often celebrated with a Mass, which emphasizes the young woman’s passage from childhood to adulthood.

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Guidelines for preparation and Celebration of a Quinceañera

The following guidelines are intended to provide parishes in the Diocese with pastoral and liturgical help for formation and preparation of the quinceañera celebration. Each parish is encouraged to prepare and make available its own guidelines/ requirements for the preparation and celebration of Quince Años.

Pastoral concerns:
All youth, regardless of race or cultural background, who have reached 15 years of age, may request a quinceañera celebration within the following guidelines:

  • The 15-year-old should have already received the Sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation and First Communion. Youth who have not received these Sacraments should register with sufficient anticipation (for example, 2 years) to be able to enroll in an adapted Sacramental preparation program. Quinceañera celebrations should not be scheduled before youth are enrolled in such program.
  • Quinceañera celebrations are to be considered as a part of comprehensive youth ministry based on the Bishop’s document “Renewing the Vision: A framework for Catholic Youth Ministry,” therefore youth are encouraged to participate in the parish’s Youth Ministry programs and events.


  • Quinceañeras may be celebrated as a Mass or a Liturgy of the Word. Celebrations may be done individually or for a group and should be done in a parish church or chapel.
  • Liturgical norms are to be respected, in particular during Advent and Lent.
  • Quinceañeras, their families and friends should be instructed of appropriate reverence and dress attire for the celebration.
  • A rehearsal and overview of the Mass or liturgy of the Word should be offered for the youth and their parents.

A parish Quince Años team is recommended for the catechetical and liturgical preparation of the youth. The parish team should meet the Diocese Safe Environment requirement to serve as an instructor or catechist in the program.

  • Preparation for the quinceañera should include adolescent catechesis and
  • Preparation programs may vary from 6 to 8 weekly sessions. (These should not be substituted for any sacramental catechetical classes.)
  • Parishes should create a model of preparation that best suits the parish community.
  • Parents and quinceañera companions should be included in preparation programs.

(The Office for Youth Ministry can provide resources for preparation programs.)


Pamela Poe
Associate Director
Phone: (858) 490-8263
ppoeEmail at symbolsdcatholic.org
Brilema Perez
Associate Director
Phone: (858) 490-8260
bperezEmail at symbolsdcatholic.org
Erika Quevedo
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (858) 490-8260
equevedoEmail at symbolsdcatholic.org