One way to usher in a new year, is to say goodbye to things better left in the past.
The Creole Jazz Band is helping people put 2016 behind them by holding New Orleans Jazz Funerals, and one is coming to Chilliwack this weekend.
As the name suggests, a band member describes the ritual as a mix of delight and remorse, and an opportunity to have a little fun. It will take place at Christ Lutheran Church, on Sunday, Jan. 8.
Kevin Yeates, with the Creole Jazz Band, says it’s a chance “lay down” your regrets, reflect on the past year and get a fresh start on 2017 while a New Orleans Jazz band swings those old-time hymns. People will invited to write down events, memories, regrets or what-have-you, from 2016. Those are put into a box that represents a casket, which is eventually “buried.”
“You can write down anything you’d like to leave behind,” Yeates says. “Anything you want to bury.”
Pastor Dean Andersen will be guiding the band and the crowd through the event. He’s looking forward to the lively, fun chance for some fellowship and catharsis.
“It’s a way for us to come together as a community, sing some great music to help us mark the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one,” he says. “Those attending the ‘funeral’ will have an opportunity to jot on a piece of paper – which will be kept private – some of the things they would like to bury with the old year. As the service progresses people will be invited to ‘lay down’ their regrets by placing them in a symbolic memorial box that will be ‘buried’ as the service closes.”
It’s a service that has roots in the New Orleans funeral tradition, added Yeates.
“In that region a band of jazz musicians accompany the mourners as they make their way from the family’s home to the cemetery,” he says. “As they make their way to the graveside the band plays slow mournful dirges as they mourn the passing of their loved one. But when they turn to go home the music becomes bright and cheery, as they celebrate hope, freedom and promise.”
The event is free, open to everyone, and runs from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. followed by a light tea.
Christ Lutheran Church is located at 9460 Charles St.