Walk Our Labyrinth

Walk Our Labyrinth

Epiphany Episcopal Church LabyrinthOur labyrinth is open to the entire greater Baltimore community, and you are welcome to come and use it for prayer or meditation at any time. If you would like to bring a group, please call the church office to make arrangements. It is located in a peaceful, secluded spot just north of the church driveway, adjacent to our Memorial Garden. Whether walking or sitting, the Garden and the Labyrinth offer a beautiful setting for prayer, contemplation, and remembrance.

A labyrinth is often described as a “walking meditation,” a spiritual tool. It is a winding, circular path in which the traveler enters the labyrinth and follows the path to the center, symbolically making a journey closer to God. In times of trouble or spiritual confusion, many find that prayerfully walking the labyrinth in quiet contemplation brings a sense of peace. It offers us a chance to “unplug” from our daily, hyper-connected lives. In ancient times, the labyrinth was sometimes used as a substitute for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, for those who wished to go but were unable to travel such a long distance.

 History of the Epiphany Labyrinth

Epiphany’s labyrinth came about through the generosity of parishioner Cathy Siperko and was given in memory of her parents, Russell and Irene Schumacher. Both Russell and Irene’s ashes are interred in Epiphany’s beautiful Memorial Garden, which is adjacent to the labyrinth. Funds for a beautiful curved teak bench were donated by a number of other parishoners at Epiphany, creating an additional sacred space to sit and pray. The labyrinth was completed in July 2011. Additional picnic-style benches were donated in 2013 by Kim Parr, daughter of Gig Grube.

The design comes from The Labyrinth Company from Riverside, CT, and was installed by Interlock Paving, Incorporated. The pattern used for the labyrinth comes from Abingdon a la Chartres, a cathedral in France. Another of our parishioners, Sally Barker, is responsible for the landscape design, and helped with the planting. We hope that all who walk the labyrinth will find peace, comfort, and strength.

Although there is no correct or incorrect way to walk the labyrinth, the walk is often described in three stages:

Purgation – This is a letting go of the daily troubles and “busy-ness” of your life. You can think of this as releasing your distractions and opening your heart.

Illumination – When you reach the center of the labyrinth, stay there as long as you like. You can pray if you like, or meditate, or simply think. Do what feels natural to you.

Returning – As you leave the center, follow the same path out as the one you entered on. You might imagine this stage as taking God or your Higher Power back to your world.

Labyrinths did not originate with Christians. They are ancient, and can be found in many cultures and places around the world. They are associated with prayer, meditation, and enlightenment.

You can find more information on labyrinths online at The Labyrinth Society or the Grace Cathedral Labyrinth Society.  The Labyrinth Company in Riverside, Connecticut built our labyrinth, and their site contains information on the history and modern use of labyrinths.

 

Personal Responses from the Epiphany Community: Walking the Labyrinth

I use the Labyrinth at Epiphany as often as I can.
I find it the single best way to center down and pray.
There something magical happens when I walk rhythmically, slowly,
and let the world go away.
I search only for God in my heart, and wait.
He is always there with encompassing and engulfing love.
It is hard to leave and return to the real world. — Dayla

I’ll always remember walking a labyrinth with my toddler on my hip, whispering in his ear while his head rested on my shoulder. We were just beginning our life’s path together, and we had so far to go. I didn’t yet know how difficult the path would become, and how much would be required of both of us. We know it now. Still, God walks with us on this path of life, even in the most confusing and discouraging times. He is always there when I call out for Him. — Anonymous

I get great joy in seeing people use the labyrinth since I live right next door to the church. What makes me happiest is seeing children on the labyrinth, walking and running around trying to follow the path. Sometimes a day care teacher brings their class to the labyrinth to spend a little time there. Everyone can benefit from walking the labyrinth. When I walk it I tend to do prayers of supplication on the walk into the center and prayers of thanksgiving when I leave the center. That’s what works for me right now, but I also enjoy sitting on the bench and enjoying the view of the Towson skyline and our beautiful grounds and gardens. We are so blessed at Epiphany with our many beautiful spaces both inside and out. — Cathy

If you’d like to share a brief personal reflection on your labyrinth experience (walking any labyrinth), please submit it in the text of an email to Amelia Franz.