Recently, I sat behind a group of six young people (four guys, two girls) in Church.
They obviously were heading to Prom after Mass, and they looked superb.
The girls’ complexions were clear, their makeup and manicures were flawless. Their thin young bodies had been spray-tanned, their hair was swept up with dangling ringlets.
Their earrings sparkled. Their floor-length gowns were stunning, and they were modest enough to cover up their bare shoulders with light jackets.
The young men wore tuxes and boutonnieres, fancy shoes and ties. Their hair was combed, their faces freshly shaven.
They whispered quietly to one another and nodded at their friends seated in other pews.
The nervous anticipation practically crackled from them.
Prom is an exciting rite of passage for a young person.
And I never went.
Back in the day, if you didn’t have a date, you didn’t go to Prom.
That meant lots of us stayed home when we should have been with our classmates. Dancing. Snacking. Having fun.
How refreshing it is today that young people ALL go to Prom.
Date or no date.
Some pair off with a special someone; others go in groups.
No one has to feel left out, unless they choose not to be there.
And it’s wonderful to see so many of the teens from our Church making time to attend Mass before the festivities.
Our priest never fails to acknowledge their presence, either.
He always tells them how splendid they look, cautions them to be watchful and prudent while having fun, and reminds them that their parents — and the entire community — love them.
A few of the kids snicker. They’ve heard this message before.
The older adults nod their heads and smile. They have, too.
But it’s a message that never grows old, no matter how often it’s spoken.
These kids are our future.
Sounds like a beautiful service. Seeing the best of our kids always brings tears to my eyes. I think it’s the joy, hope and enthusiasm that radiates from them. We do love them, and it can never be said to often.
I agree, Kb, and to have their parish priest say it — aloud, in front of the entire congregation — obviously means a lot! If we can do anything to impress these kids that they’re valued, that can only help them in the long run.
Prom time became an expensive time for our household as our sons went to theirs and other proms…we finally had to stop them (tell them we wouldn’t pay for more than one prom a school year! That didn’t really stop them because they paid for their own tuxes for the additional proms, lol!) because they didn’t want anyone to miss out on prom night due to not having a date!
Aw, your sons sound sweet, Suzi, just like their parents! Congrats on raising considerate, caring young men — well done, my friend!!
“He always tells them how splendid they look, cautions them to be watchful and prudent while having fun, and reminds them that their parents — and the entire community — love them.”
OMG…that is so WONDERFUL, Debbie! That really touched me.
Reading your delightful post brought back so many wonderful memories of my own prom. I had such a spectacular time with my date and friends. And you’re right, back then if you didn’t have a date, you didn’t go. Now a days, anyone can go. Which I think is the way it should be.
Happy Monday, dear lady!
Thanks, Ron. I’m glad I could bring back a happy memory for you! I agree — kids today have got it RIGHT by including everyone! To think of all the milestone events “closed” to some because of extraneous details — no date, not the right clothes, not in the “popular” group, etc. — we were cruel, weren’t we? Thanks for stopping by, my friend, and have a GREAT week!
Ah yes, prom. I remember them well and loved going – and the same social rules applied in my teenage world too – if you didn’t have a date – you didn’t go. Not so anymore – which I’m not so sure about. What a nice message your priest and church community sent these kids out with. Wonderful.
Thanks, Barb. I kind of like the idea that kids don’t feel pressured to secure a date if they don’t have a “special someone” they want to spend an evening with but still want to attend Prom. Even going with their friends, in groups, is better than missing out on the whole experience. But then, I was one of the ones who had to miss out, so perhaps that’s why I believe more in including the entire class!
I just shared a prom story on my blog if you would like to read it. 🙂
Hi Lindsay and Welcome! I read your prom story and left you a comment. So glad you got to attend your prom — it’s an important occasion in a high school student’s life, one no one should miss!!
Lovely, Debbie. I felt like i was sitting in church with you. I love that they all go to the prom whether they have a date or not. My teenaged nieces go with or without dates and have a ball either way. Not having a date is a non-issue, unlike in “my day” when a date was required. That really makes sense to me. No one should have to miss out on a prom.
And how special that they took the time to attend Mass before going. I love your stories. They are so heartwarming!
Thanks, Kathy! Your nieces have it right — no one should have to miss out on a class activity, just because they don’t have a date. Or whatever. It seems to me, this is one of those times when it’s more important that they do things together — as a class — rather than, as we did, show up at exclusive events just to prove they’re among the elite. Thanks for stopping by!
I am seriously impressed that kids attend mass before prom. And your priest obviously encourages and welcomes their presence. What a great way to start a very special evening… hearing a message of pride and love.
Terri, I so agree. I think our priest makes it easy for them to attend — after all, the service is at 4 p.m. on a Saturday, giving them time to go to dinner and then Prom. And I think the congregation enjoys “the fashion show,” seeing all those bright, happy, young faces on the cusp of an important evening!
Love that teens go off to prom with or without dates these days. The only drawback may be the huge expenses families go to help make this magical night happen. Perhaps that side of prom could be toned a little to make it less about the marketing costumes, flowers, etc. and more about getting together and celebrating this rite of passage. Of course I am looking at the event through the eyes of an ex pat because this sort of ceremony doesn’t exist in Europe that I am aware of.
No Prom?? Wow, I had no idea, Pat! Surely there must be other rites of passage for high school students overseas, right? I do agree that Prom can be expensive, but I think some areas have figured that out and have stepped up to help. There are gown exchanges, resale shops, etc., and I think anyone handy with sewing can make enough modifications that a dress will “become” its new owner (that said by a person who does good to sew on buttons, haha!)
It’s great that they went to mass before prom. Prom has become quite the event. It was less extravagant in my day (except the dresses – those were a big deal :)) I wish people would realize that spending tons of money doesn’t always make things more special. There is something to be said for a well-executed inexpensive, but creative, gesture of caring.
Thanks for reading and sharing your experience, Janna. Since I never went to Prom, I wouldn’t know about the expenses involved. Domer went, but renting a tux is a lot cheaper than investing in a gown! You’re right, of course — something like this shouldn’t have to break the bank!
Debbie, how wonderful that these kids take time to fill their spiritual sides before heading to the prom. And, if you ask me, hearing that you’re loved never gets old!
This is the only church I’ve been in that actively encourages the kids to attend Mass before Prom, and I think it’s great. They can sleep in on Sunday morning without feeling bad for missing church, ha! And you’re right — we ALL need to be told we’re loved!! Thanks for visiting.