Labyrinths are very old shapes and symbols found all over the world and in many different cultures. A labyrinth is a one-way path, not a maze, that leads into the center and then is followed back to the beginning. For many of us walking the labyrinth it symbolizes our life’s journey with God. It can be very calming and the walk forms a part of prayer or meditation. The Labyrinth is a place where we can open ourselves to the Holy Spirit.
On June 9th, 2004 we had a wonderful celebration with all of the many parishioners who blessed us with their time to help build the garden and buy all the plants. Most were purchased in memory of a loved one and a lovely book was created to record these donations. Bishop Michael joined us for the celebration and then held a special Eucharist service and blessed the memorial garden and labyrinth.
Our garden is a place where we can feel close to God. Over the recent years, some people’s ashes have been interred in the garden and we can sit and remember those who have passed as well as quietly walk the labyrinth and watch the fishes in the pond. We also enjoy our morning coffee time together when the weather is warm or enjoy a meal or barbeque.
Guidelines for Walking the Labyrinth
Pause: At the entryway to allow yourself to be fully conscious of the act of stepping into the Labyrinth.
Pace: Allow your body to find its own pace. This is important – to be in touch with your needs as you walk. If someone is behind you, you can step onto the line to let them pass by.
Path: There is a single pathway in to the center and the same one brings you out. When you have reached the centre you are halfway. Pause awhile and then begin the return journey.
Style: Pay attention to your breath and your body as you walk and what they might be saying to you. There are many ways to walk the labyrinth where both laughter and tears are both signs of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Shoes: Walking the labyrinth whether in deep meditation or playful dance is a sacred act. We ask that you take off your shoes if that is possible for you.
The labyrinth at St. John’s is available to the community during office hours or
any other time the church is open.