Saint Philip’s nine-circuit octagonal labyrinth, built in the style of the labyrinth at Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens, France, was completed and blessed by our Bishop in April of 2012.
What Is a Labyrinth?
Labyrinths predate Christianity but since medieval times, walking a labyrinth has helped people to find meaning in their spiritual journeys, to help them deal with personal difficulties or to remember loved ones. Walking the labyrinth is not strenuous. It can be walked at a pace that suits one’s physical and spiritual needs.
People walk labyrinths for many reasons. Some do it to relax, some as a walking meditation, some just for fun. You may visit the labyrinth at any time. Face the labyrinth with St. Philip’s at your back and enter near the paver to the left of center and follow the path toward the center. If you would like to prayerfully walk the labyrinth we invite you to take some time to clear your mind and to relax before you walk. Weather permitting, you may wish to remove your shoes. Move at your own pace. Be open to inner promptings to pause, to slow down, or to pass others. Do what you feel is natural. Please maintain silence throughout your walk, for your benefit, and for the sake of others.
How to Walk the Labyrinth
Before entering the labyrinth, you can pray or meditate, then slowly follow the path to the center and the fountain there.
As you enter the labyrinth you will begin the first of three stages of your walk — Purgation. This is a time for releasing, letting go of the details of your life, the cares and concerns that keep you distracted and stressed.
As you reach the center you are open to the stage of Illumination. Sit beside the fountain, listen to the water, meditate, face various directions, or read something you have brought with you on this journey. Stay in the center for as long as you wish. It is a place for clarity and insight. Receive what is there for you.
As you prepare to leave the labyrinth, take time for gratitude and for integrating this experience into your life. This part of the walk is the path of Union, joining God, bringing back to the world a renewed vision, or a refreshed spirit. Each time you walk the labyrinth you may become more empowered to find and do the work God has given you. Spend some time outside the labyrinth in reflection and meditation before you leave. With the challenges and concerns of our busy lives, the labyrinth offers a way to journey in faith, to find stillness and rest.
You are invited to walk it alone, or with a group, at the beginning or end of your day, on your lunch break, as the sun sets, by starlight and moonlight, in all seasons.
Visiting the Labyrinth
You may visit the labyrinth at any time. Walking the labyrinth contemplatively takes about 20 minutes. Before entering the labyrinth, you can pray or meditate, then slowly follow the path to the center and the fountain there.
Full moon walks are scheduled monthly. The evenings begin with a brief introduction to labyrinths and a presentation on how to get the most out of your walk, followed by walking the labyrinth. Afterward, participants gather for fellowship and refreshments. In case of rain, the labyrinth walks are canceled.
Purchase a Commemorative Paver
Commemorative bricks (pavers) may be purchased in memory of a loved one or in honor of a special event. Periodically they will be set into the design of Saint Philip’s labyrinth.