Today I will spend the morning in a labyrinth retreat led by Victoria Logue at King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia. Victoria has had formal training in leading such a retreat, and I am looking forward to sacred time.
While most churches have to either buy or rent a labyrinth for such occasions, King of Peace is blessed to have the labyrinth pattern set in beautiful ceramic tile as a part of the church floor. This is in keeping with ancient tradition that goes back at least as far as about 1200 A.D., when the labyrinth design was laid into the floor of the nave of Chartres Cathedral in France. The design in Chartres, like the one at King of Peace, is round and measures forty-two feet in diameter. The Chartres labyrinth was installed at a time when pilgrims could not get to the Holy Land because of the crusades and other social ills. Walking the labyrinth became a symbolic way to be on pilgrimage in a safer environment.
The Rev. Lauren Artress at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco has for many years spearheaded a movement to get us to rediscover the labyrinth. Churches and retreat centers across America have taken up the cause as a way to get us to pray more and spend more quiet time with God. I hope you can find and walk a labyrinth during this holy season of Lent. If you do, slowly and thoughtfully take your prayer concerns to the middle, leave them with God, and walk out free of them. It's a happy pilgrimage.
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek