Have you used our Prayer Labyrinth yet? Since it is "out of sight and out of mind" behind the church, some of our members are not even aware it exists!
The labyrinth, a tool for mediation, combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. Praying a labyrinth is a form of walking meditation which can lead away from anxiety and yearning towards joy, meaning, hope, and peace.
Early in the first century Christians began using the labyrinth in the practice of their faith. As early as 324 C.E. a labyrinth was placed on the floor of a Christian church in Algiers, North Africa. Historically labyrinths have been used as a way to symbolize and connect with the risen Christ’s presence, power, and love.
During the Middle Ages, Christians were expected to travel to the Holy Land at least once during their lifetimes. Since travel was often dangerous and difficult, making a pilgrimage to one of the great cathedrals and praying a labyrinth was allowed as an alternative. One of the oldest and best known labyrinths dates back to the year 1205 and is found on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France.
Walking and praying a Labyrinth simulates a pilgrimage. The entrance and exit are at the same spot in the labyrinth. The single path takes you to the center and back out again. Unlike a maze, which has many dead ends and false passages, a labyrinth has no dead ends. You cannot get lost; the point is not disorientation, but orientation.
The labyrinth is a spiritual tool that can be used by God to deepen faith in Jesus, to encounter Christ's presence and to be strengthened by God to live out the call to follow Jesus.
Ready to give it a try? Here are some suggestions from the folks at Guideposts magazine:
- 4 Ways to Pray in a Labyrinth
“In the path of righteousness there is life, in walking its path there is no death.” Proverbs 12:28