Labyrinths have been in existence for more than 3,500 years used by many different religions and various nationalities. They appear in many shapes, sizes, and materials.
The labyrinth is not a maize. It has an entry, or “mouth,” a specific path with many turns and curves, and a center. The exit is the same path only in reverse.
The Chartes Cathedral Labyrinth, located outside Paris, France, was built around 1200 AD. It is an eleven-circuit labyrinth and is 40 feet in diameter. While walking the labyrinth, you meander through each of four quadrants several times before reaching the center. The rosette in the center has a rich symbolic value that includes enlightenment. When you look at the labyrinth, the four arms of the cross are visible. Pilgrims walked the labyrinth to come close to God or for repentance. Sometimes the labyrinth was used as a substitute for an actual pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
The First United Methodist Church labyrinth is similar to the Chartes Cathedral Labyrinth but on a smaller scale. Our terrazzo labyrinth in the gathering area outside the sanctuary is part of the everyday life of the church, but private time for individuals or groups can be scheduled through the church office. When available, we can provide a guide for your group walks.
For your walk, we offer meditative music or silence to create an atmosphere of prayer. We can also share suggested Scripture references and reflective meditations.
Hand labyrinths are available for purchase for $10 at the church.