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Hispanic Rite Of Passage

INTRO:

In the Hispanic culture, some girls turning 15 celebrate with a ceremony called a quinceañera.  As more Spanish-speaking families settle into traditionally Anglo communities, churches are embracing this ritual and making an effort to combine cultures. As Allysa Adams reports, it’s actually a rite of passage for all involved.

SCRIPT:

(Locator: Glendale, Arizona)

“Go ahead and grab your bouquet.”

There’re the flowers… the dress… the party favors… and one excited 15-year-old.

Brianna Zapata/ Celebrating quinceañera: “I’m also nervous.”

Tomorrow, Brianna Zapata (pronounced ZA-PAH-TA) will make the symbolic leap from child to adult - and she’s not the only one with butterflies.

The Rev. Lynn Hamilton/ Glendale First United Methodist Church: “This is the first quinceañera we have ever participated in.”

The First United Methodist Church in Glendale, Arizona is undergoing a transformation.

The Rev. Lynn Hamilton/ Glendale First United Methodist Church:  “We are finding ourselves as an urban church and we need to be in our community.”

Glendale is now 30 percent Hispanic. And that means if this church wants to survive and grow, it needs to embrace varied languages and traditions, like the quinceañera (pronounced KEENT-SAY-ON-YARA).

Heather Zapata/ Mother of quinceañera participant: “They’ve been so supportive -  they’ve opened their arms to us.”

Brianna’s family thought they might have to go outside their church for the celebration.  But Rev. Lynn Hamilton was determined to make it happen here.  And after a year of research and preparation, everyone is ready.

The Rev. Lynn Hamilton:  “Today is about inviting God into your life.”

The traditional quinceañera service is full of symbolism. There are gifts and offerings.  And much of it is in Spanish.

(Brianna saying prayer in Spanish)

And despite a few tears from a mom and dad who say good bye to their little girl, the day is a happy occasion…as both Brianna and her church find they are growing up together.

TAG:

The quinceañera used to mark the time when a young girl was ready for marriage. Today's ceremonies, including Brianna’s, embrace religious traditions and the virtues of family and social responsibility.

For more information, contact the Glendale First United Methodist Church in  Arizona:  http://www.gbgm-umc.org/umc-glendale.

Also see: Girl, church grow up together with 'quinceañera'.

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