| Labyrinth |
What is a Labyrinth?
Labyrinths are ancient human symbols known to go back at least 4,000 years and probably much older. The Labyrinth symbol was incorporated into the floors of the great Gothic pilgrimage cathedrals of France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The most famous extant design, and the one selected for our Labyrinth, is the example in the nave floor of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres outside of Paris, which is now over 800 years old. Today, you will find all types of Labyrinths throughout the Metroplex, as well as across Texas, being used for reflection, meditation, prayer and comfort.
Over the past ten years Labyrinths have undergone a dramatic revival, beginning in churches and now encompassing religious communities of all types, hospitals, health care facilities, spas and retreat centers, schools and universities, public parks, memorials and healing gardens, prisons and even progressive businesses. Many churches in the Dallas area already have Labyrinths, including an outdoor Labyrinth at University Park UMC in Dallas, an indoor Labyrinth at Trinity UMC in Duncanville, and portable Labyrinths on canvas used by Dallas First UMC, Arapaho UMC in Richardson, and other Methodist congregations. Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas recently constructed a striking outdoor Labyrinth. A particularly beautiful Labyrinth after the pattern of Chartres Cathedral can be found in the narthex of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration at Hillcrest and Spring Valley in Dallas, where a number of our members have walked and prayed in the past several years.
Unlike a maze, a Labyrinth is not a puzzle and does not have dead ends. Robert Ferre', current day labyrinth maker, describes it simply as 'a path with a purpose.' Others have described it as a metaphor for life, or a representation of the journey inward to our true selves and back out into the everyday world.
Want more information, contact Jeff Chandler at 214.334.8602.
Origins of the 2 Entrance Stones
The first stone, from Robben Island (near Cape Town, South Africa) was a gift of Rev. John Thornburg in Fall, 2003. Robben Island was the site of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment from 1964-1982, and has become a powerful reminder of the need for peace and justice throughout the world. The stone symbolizes our need to work for peace and justice while also remaining rooted and centered in prayer.
The second stone, from the Gangitis River at Philippi, was a gift of Dr. and Mrs. Ted and Nell Boone, following their visit there. This river is significant because it is the traditional site of Lydia’s baptism (see Acts 16:11-15) and of the first Christian baptisms in Europe. This stone reminds Christians who walk the Labyrinth to “Remember your baptism, and be thankful.”