What is a Labyrinth?
A labyrinth is an enclosed path having only one row that winds in towards the center point where it makes a decisive turn to wander out again. Unlike a maze, there are no tricks or dead ends in a labyrinth. The word labyrinth comes from the Greek word meaning “double acts of Corinth,” which may have been a design for a labyrinth.
Where did Labyrinths come from?
The oldest examples of these designs date back 3000 years. Labyrinths are found in all cultures and in all religions. Labyrinths are also found in Scandinavia and Asia. No one knows who designed the first labyrinth, but it is evident from archaeology the designs are often connected with holy places and religious worship.
History of Our Labyrinth
Our outdoor labyrinth was created by parishioner Clark O’Kelley as an Eagle Scout project several years ago.
Clark grew up in Christ Church, and when contemplating what his Eagle Scout project would be, Clark knew he wanted to do something to give back to his church. Our Rector, the Rev. Ceci Duke, had long wanted a labyrinth for Christ Church, so it was the perfect project! Clark recalls: “ I was more than excited to add something to the church that the whole congregation and surrounding community could utilize and enjoy. I moved forward in drawing up the plans and organizing the help as the summer began, and thanks to the help of my troop 1963 out of Wesleyan School and the Christ Church congregation volunteers, I was able to construct the labyrinth in less than 1 week’s time”.
The design is modeled after the medieval original that was inlaid at Chartres Cathedral, France, in the early 13th century. It is accessible any time for spiritual reflection and meditation.
The sacred geometry of the labyrinth — its complex twists and turns taking us into the center and then out again — invites us into a walking meditation. Unlike a maze, it has no dead ends. The labyrinth offers a way to quiet our minds, open our hearts, pray for our concerns, and turn to God for guidance.
There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth, but it may be undertaken in three parts:
- Entering the Labyrinth
A time to release and let go of distraction, perhaps focusing on a special intention or prayer for the walk.
- Reaching the Center
A time for openness to the divine Spirit, allowing guidance and inspiration.
- Going Back
A time to retrace steps and return to the world, embracing the Spirit that heals and transforms. With each repetition of the walk, you are being strengthened for growth and change.
The labyrinth is always available for your prayer and enjoyment. We hope that it will bring insight, peace, and renewal to all who walk it.