St. Aidan's Episcopal Church labyrinth is a sacred space for walking,
meditation and prayer. This simple, 7-circuit, classical-design
labyrinth was built as a labor of love by members of the church in
April 2012 and is open to all.
Prayer Labyrinths have a
long history within the church. Perhaps one of the best know is
the intricate Chartres pattern, named after the cathedral in France
where it originated. The classical pattern is much older,
appearing on coins as early as the 4th century BC. It was in the
Middle Ages, however, that the use of the labyrinth as a meditative
practice and a substitute pilgrimage to Jerusalem began to flower.
St. Aidan's has long had
a connection to various contemplative practices, and a prayer
labyrinth was included in the memorial garden when plans were first
drawn. The originally drawn design was adopted due to
considerations of space and other resources. The inlaid-brick
and grass path style was selected to coordinate with existing
landscaping and structure in the garden while setting the labyrinth
apart as its own sacred place.
There is no right or
wrong way to walk a labyrinth. The entrance path seems at first
to lead to the center and then moves the walker to the middle and to
the outside, then finally to the central circle which faces the woods,
where on my stand and rest or contemplate or pray before departing by
the same path. Everyone walks at a different pace.
Children experiencing the joy of initial discovery of this practice
may run it. Some people walk with a prayer of a verse, and some
is internal silence.
However you experience
the labyrinth, know that the love of the Lord goes with you on this
and all your journeys. The St. Aidan's labyrinth stands as a
symbol of the path we are all on to experience Christ as our center,
and a fitting gift and practice as we strive to better know Jesus and
make Him known.