Non-Catholics may choose to have their own ceremony either in another church or separate from a church service. They can choose to write their own ceremony, or ask a friend or family member to officiate the blessing.
The quinceañera celebration traditionally starts off with the family celebrating a Catholic thanksgiving Mass. The birthday girl, also known as the quinceañera, enters the church in a procession, not unlike the traditional marriage procession. She may be accompanied by a court of young men and women, as well as her parents and godparents. (We'll talk more about the court on the next page.)
She may be allowed to pick out the readings of the Mass ahead of time and ask a family member or friend to read them, or she may choose to read them herself. After the readings, gospel and homily, the young woman renews her Baptismal promise and commits herself to God and the Virgin Mary. The parents or godparents may choose to give the girl special religious gifts at this time. After Communion, the quinceañera can make a devotion to the Virgin Mary by presenting a flower or bouquet of flowers to the church's statue. The priest then blesses the quinceañera before concluding the Mass.
After the Mass or service is over, the quinceañera celebration has just begun.