Take time to visit St. Michael’s Labyrinth in the courtyard near the Parish Center. Incorporated in the center of the Labyrinth is the baptismal pool, primarily used during Easter for baptism.
Come walk the labyrinth— and experience a walking meditation.
The design of St. Michael’s labyrinth is modeled after the one located in the floor at Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France. The labyrinth at Chartres was built around 1200. It is laid into the floor in a style sometimes referred to as a pavement maze, and is walked as a pilgrimage and/or for repentance. As a pilgrimage, it was a questing, searching journey with the hope of becoming closer to God. When used for repentance, the pilgrims would walk on their knees. Sometimes this eleven-circuit labyrinth would serve as a substitute for an actual pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and as a result, came to be called the “Chemin de Jerusalem” or Road of Jerusalem.
In walking the labyrinth, the walker meanders through each of the four quadrants several times before reaching the goal. An expectancy is created as to when the center will be reached. At the center is a rosette design which has a rich symbolic value including that of enlightenment. Notice the four arms of the cross are readily visible which provides significant Christian symbolism.
Christian Symbolism and Labyrinths
The circular shape of the labyrinth represents the shape of all of God’s creation. Everything God creates is in a circle. Atoms, molecules, cells are all circular in shape.
The unicursal (one) path is very symbolic of the Christian journey to follow Jesus – the one and only path to Heaven. Walking the path of the labyrinth requires keeping our eye focused on the path. Jesus requires the same of us that we keep our eyes focused on Him.
Our spiritual and faith journey has many twists, turns, and surprises. There are times on that journey where we feel extremely close to God and times where we feel very distant. The path of the labyrinth has many twists and turns taking us close to the center and then far away. The labyrinth is a perfect metaphor for our spiritual life and journey with God.
The journey ends when we reach the center. The journey of our life ends when we reach Heaven, the center and goal of our life here on earth. Walking a labyrinth for Christians is a form of body
prayer or walking prayer.