A form of prayer that focuses the whole body
The Labyrinth at St. John's
St John's Cathedral is fortunate to own a lovely canvas Labyrinth, in the eleven-circuit style found in many churches. This Labyrinth is in the North Transept of the Cathedral, May through September, for meditation and prayer. You are welcome to walk it 9am-4pm, Monday through Saturday. Contact the Cathedral office for more information.
During August of 2013, a second, permanent, Labyrinth was installed in the tile floor of the Great Hall. This presentation is an adaptation of an ancient North African design, which is a square instead of a circle. The new Labyrinth is usually available 9am-4pm, Monday through Saturday.
Labyrinths: A Circle of Meditation
A labyrinth is a pattern with a purpose, an ancient tool that speaks to a long-forgotten part of our consciousness. Lying dormant for centuries, labyrinths are undergoing a revival of use and interest. They offer a chance to take time from our busy lives, to leave schedules and stress behind. Walking a labyrinth is a gift we give ourselves, often leading to discovery, insight, peacefulness, happiness and well-being.
The labyrinth represents our passage through time and experience. Its many turns reflect the journey of life, which involves change and transition, rites of passage, cycles of nature. Different from a maze – which has dead ends and false passages – the labyrinth has a single path that leads unerringly to the center. No time or effort is ever wasted if we stay the course, every step, however circuitous, takes us closer to our goal.
During the Middle Ages, many Gothic cathedrals designed eleven-circuit labyrinths as substitutes for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, for use as penance, and in other sacred devotions. The most famous of these is the one at Chartres Cathedral, outside of Paris, France.