Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ Acts 7:33
We have many holy ground places at St. Mary’s. One is the Labyrinth located outdoors, on the left side of the rectory. Another is the Labyrinth found inside on the floor in St. George’s Chapel (above). A Labyrinth is a path. It is a one way twisting path that weaves its way to the centre and back out again. There is only one entrance and exit, no dead ends, and no crossing of paths with a choice of which way to turn. Walking the labyrinth is a way of praying with the body that invites the divine presence into an active conversation with the heart and soul. By engaging in this walking meditation, we are fully engaging our minds, bodies, and spirits at the same time.
There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Some people walk with the intention of addressing an issue in their lives, others to pray and meditate. It is helpful to pause before you enter to center your thoughts on your intention.
Walk between the lines of the circuit, being aware that you are sharing the labyrinth with others. You may pass other walkers, or let them step around you. When you reach the center you have entered the most sacred space in the labyrinth. The center is a place to pause, reflect, and receive insight.
Walking the path back out of the labyrinth is a time for deep reflection and a chance to consider what it might mean for your daily living. Once you have completed your labyrinth walk, you may want to find a quiet place outdoors or in the chapel to sit and reflect. Our hope is that you will leave with renewed vision and a refreshed spirit.
Mazes and a range of labyrinth designs are found all around the world in many cultures and civilizations. They are found carved in rock, ceramics, clay tablets, mosaics, manuscripts, stone patterns, turf, hedges, and cathedral pavements. The earliest known designs are about 3000 years old. The significance of them for the various cultures they were part of and the story of how they developed from one place to another (or simultaneously appeared in several) is often mysterious and hard to fathom. The most ancient and widespread design looks complicated but can be drawn quite easily if you know the method.