A Path for Pilgrimage

When I first walked the path of an indoor labyrinth, I felt pretty silly. “How? How, could this be prayerful?” I thought. I don’t remember much, except I do remember not giving up in its midst. As I slowly walked around the hairpin turns, something inside of me was unwinding and allowing me to be more receptive. To what? I didn’t know at the time. But looking back, I can say with conviction that this form of walking meditation was and has been an important tool in my prayer life and faith transformation.

Labyrinths are found in all cultures and all religions. Many Gothic cathedrals housed labyrinths in medieval times. The Ladue Chapel labyrinth is an eight-circuit version of the Christian design in the nave of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres (pictured above) completed in 1220. The labyrinth, with its twists and turns, symbolizes the spiritual journey, a path for pilgrimage. The pilgrim seeks the presence of God. Walking the path offers to us all the possibility of insight, wisdom, transformation and renewal.

The Chartres-like labyrinth at Ladue Chapel is twenty-six feet wide and is made of canvas. Paper templates were ordered from a labyrinth company in Connecticut and the canvas was seamed and hemmed locally. The process of creating the labyrinth was quite extensive. The canvas was stretched taut using bungee cords, tarp clips, and heavy objects such as cinder blocks and stacks of chairs. Members cut out the templates, carefully traced them onto the canvas, taped the lines, and painted the path. Twenty five members from our church and other local churches worked from one hour to as many as thirty four hours, creating this prayerful path in five days.

Walk the labyrinth at your own pace. Give yourself a gift by using your “walk” for meditation, prayer or working through a problem or concern that has been on your mind. I hope to share this experience with you on Sunday anytime between 11:15 am – 2:00 pm. We will be in Fellowship Hall.

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