The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth at The Church of the Precious Blood

Come visit and walk our Labyrinth. It is located to the right of the Parish Center. You’ll find a mailbox there with some instructions for walking the Labyrinth and some chairs to sit and relax and meditate. Enjoy it!

Click here for a Labyrinth Prayer 

One can think of labyrinths as symbolic of pilgrimage; people can walk the path, ascending toward salvation or enlightenment. Author Ben Radford conducted an investigation into some of the claims of spiritual and healing effects of labyrinths, reporting on his findings in his book Mysterious New Mexico.

Many labyrinths have been constructed recently in churches, hospitals, and parks. These are often used for contemplation; walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets the mind. The Labyrinth Society  provides a locator for modern labyrinths all over the world

Christian use

Labyrinths have on various occasions been used in Christian tradition as a part of worship. The earliest known example is from a fourth-century pavement at the Basilica of St Reparatus, at Orleansville, Algeria, with the words "Sancta Eclesia" [sic] at the center, though it is unclear how it might have been used in worship.

In medieval times, labyrinths began to appear on church walls and floors around 1000 C.E.. The most famous medieval labyrinth, with great influence on later practice, was created in Chartres Cathedral.[48] The purpose of the labyrinths is not clear, though there are surviving descriptions of French clerics performing a ritual Easter dance along the path on Easter Sunday.  Some books (guidebooks in particular) suggest that mazes on cathedral floors originated in the medieval period as alternatives to pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but the earliest attested use of the phrase "chemin de Jerusalem" (path to Jerusalem) dates to the late 18th century when it was used to describe mazes at Reims and Saint-Omer.  ] The accompanying ritual, depicted in Romantic illustrations as involving pilgrims following the maze on their knees while praying, may have been practiced at Chartres during the 17th century.

The use of labyrinths has recently been revived in some contexts of Christian worship. Many churches in Europe and North America have constructed permanent, typically unicursal, labyrinths, or employ temporary ones (e.g., painted on canvas or outlined with candles). For example, a labyrinth was set up on the floor of St Paul's Cathedral for a week in March 2000.

 
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