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Quinceañera Guidelines

The parish community welcomes the decision to hold the religious ceremony as part of the fifteenth birthday of your daughter. The celebration is not a sacrament, therefore not to be compared as such.

St. Mary’s White Pine Canyon Church, St. Mary’s Old Town Chapel and St. Lawrence Mission are available for Quinceañeras. The following information is provided to you to help you plan the religious ceremony of the Quinceañera. Courtesy and respect should characterize your Quinceañera day. The church in particular is to be honored as a place of quiet reverence. It is a place of prayer.  You are also asked to respect the Quinceañera coordinator and other rules established by the Church.

The celebration of the fifteenth year is mostly a secular custom where the fifteen year old girl is presented to society. The celebration is a party and dance for young people, relatives and friends. It is important that the family of the fifteen year old girl understands that the party and dance is for the fifteen year old girl. So the presence and use of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited and always against the law for those under the age of 21.  It is a bad example for young people and therefore not allowed. This affects the morality of our youth, safety for themselves and all attendees.

A Quinceañera can accompany a religious celebration. This religious ceremony is a thanksgiving to God for allowing the fifteen year old girl to reach this age. It is a time for the fifteen year old girl to realize the adult responsibilities to her faith, family and community. The parish of St. Mary’s and Saint Lawrence always wants to support the culture and customs of its people. Therefore, St Mary’s and St. Lawrence will allow religious ceremonies to be held if:

  1. The family must be registered and active parishioners for at least six months and living within the boundaries of the parish/mission in Summit or Wasatch Counties.

  2. The Quinceañera is in preparation for confirmation therefore the fifteen year old girl must be enrolled and attending confirmation preparation classes. If the fifteen year old girl has already received the sacrament of confirmation she must still be enrolled and participate in the eighth or ninth grade Faith Formation classes. Class start in September.

  3. The family must provide copies of baptismal and first communion certificates. If the fifteen year old girl is already confirmed we also need a copy of the confirmation certificate.  All certificates must come from Parishes supported by the Roman Catholic Rite.

  4. Attend special Quinceañera classes to culturally prepare for the ceremony. These classes are offered three to four times a year. Call parish office for Quinceañera class dates and times and coordinator’s contact information.

  5. Reserve the date: A date maybe reserved on the parish calendar before the Faith Formation and Quinceañera classes are complete.  A non-refundable Fee of $250 is required to schedule a date on the parish calendar. If preparation is not complete and the Quinceañera is cancelled you forfeit the $250.00 fee. There will be an addition charge of $50 to change the Quinceañera date.  Quinceañeras are scheduled typically on Saturdays at 10am and 2pm. at St. Mary’s and 1:00pm at St. Lawrence. Calendar dates are subject to availability.

  6. Turn in the completed and signed Quinceañera Checklist to the Parish Secretary for approval.  If there is not 80% attendance for Faith Formation classes and 100% attendance of the Quinceañera classes, the Quinceañera will be cancelled and the Priest or Deacon will not celebrate a mass.

  7. Meet with the Priest to review the fifteen year old girls Quinceañera preparation.


Decorations in the Church
Please remember to observe proper respect whenever you are in the church, it is to be honored as a place of quiet reverence. It is a place of prayer.

The altar is sacred. No candles, flowers or anything else should ever be placed on it.

The Blessed Sacrament Chapel behind the altar is not to be used for storage. It is also sacred and needs to be honored with respect.

NO TAPE of any kind is allowed to be used in the church on any surface.  Do not use any of the following: painter’s tape, scotch tape, transparent tape, silicone, nails, staples, pins or any type of glue. You will be responsible for repair of any finishes that are damaged. If you are going to decorate the pews or some other part of the church, please make sure not to move the decorations or flowers that are on the altar or in the church for the season.

If your flower arrangements require a base, it must be provided by your florist and also be collected. The Parish is not responsible for delivering these items.

Any special table set ups needs to be taken down and returned to their storage locations. Folding chairs used in the gathering space must be returned to their original storage location.

 The use of balloons or other helium-filled devices is prohibited

Runners are unnecessary and dangerous. No runners are permitted in either church.

You should also have a person assigned to remove all decorations immediately after the ceremony is completed.

The Ceremony

Lectors must be selected from family and friends. They will want to practice before the mass.

The use of altar servers is optional and may be one or two boys or girls. You can choose from family or friends to serve, provided they have training.

Live music (not CDs) is required during the mass.  St. Mary’s and St. Lawrence strongly encourage that you use our choirs to sing during your celebration. Our choirs know all the liturgy music that is required for the mass. Separate arrangements and payment will need to be made directly with the choir. Ask your Quinceañera coordinator for the choirs contact information.

As the Church is sacred, we ask both the fifteen year old girl and her companions to dress modestly and respectfully.

Please let your photographer know that you have two hours allotted for the use of the church. Photos may be taken during the ceremony, but the photographer should not interrupt the ceremony. Flash photography during the ceremony should be avoided. You can use video cameras, but these must remain in one place and not obstruction the view of others. Do not allow the photographer or videographer to get on the altar. Photos can be taken in the church before or after the ceremony. Please inform your photographer and family and friends that the church is not a photo studio, but it is a sacred place of reverence and respect. The photographer should talk with the celebrant before the ceremony for some instructions. If the photographer is late and does not talk to the Priest he may not be allowed to take photos or video.

The Quinceañera coordinator will attend your Quinceañera and will provide organization and guidance.