Last Sunday we celebrated Kristel's Quinceanera. Her family chose to have a traditional ceremony that recognized that Kristel is now a young woman and no longer a child. She danced in a formal way with various boys because she is now "allowed to date", and she made a public commitment to follow Jesus . It began with a worship service at our church. Kristel and her court of 4 boys and 4 girls as well as her parents and her godparents, processed into the church. Everyone was dressed in matching purple dresses that were made by a neighbor. The beginning of the ceremony resembled a wedding march.
The worship service included songs signed by Deaf friends, an opportunity for people to come forward to share a memory of Kristel when she was younger, a dream, or a compliment and the last section where Kristel confessed her faith and promised to try to make God choices and follow Jesus. This part of the ceremony was followed by a commitment to purity and being given a purity ring by her mother.
This is Kristel and her court outside of the church after the service.
When the church service was over we went to Crystal Palace (a huge reception hall) which was decorated beautifully with purple and white sways of cloth and balloons. At the reception Kristel's court processed in again with their procession dance, then they danced together symbolically with each boy having a chance to dance with Kristel. At the end of the dance Kristel danced with her father and then others.
We ate lots of different traditional foods: pabil, cerviche, rice and beans with beef and chicken. Eventually Kristel cut her elaborate cake that was made by her sister-in-law.
It was a night Kristel will remember forever.
Note: Brittany also blogged about this event with terrific pictures and more details, if you want to see more go to her blog at http://brittanylentz.wordpress.com/
The party was fun but the part I enjoyed watching the most was getting the girls ready for the big event. They had first measurements and then fittings for their dresses. Sulmi had a pedicure, got her hair done, had the haridresser put on her make-up. They felt as pretty as princesses. It was fun to see that confidence in all of the girls. Below are a few of the getting ready pics.