Archdeacon Deborah Kraft
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The labyrinth on the grounds of Thunder Bay’s St. Paul’s Anglican Church is not for puzzling, but prayer.The 11-circuit pathway is a replica of an inlaid prayer labyrinth on the floor of Chartes Cathedral in France. Visitors to a prayer labyrinth walk its winding path in quiet contemplation before eventually reaching the centre.
Unlike a traditional maze, prayer labyrinths are not puzzles. “There’s a huge difference between a maze and a labyrinth,” said Rev. Deborah Kraft. “A maze has twists and turns and dead ends . . . (with a labyrinth) there’s only one way into the centre and you can’t get lost.
”The construction of the labyrinth is part of the church’s centennial celebration, but the concept of the meditative paths has been around for hundreds of years.
She notes that the labyrinth is is accessible from the edge of the church grounds on the corner of Ridgeway and Archibald streets, and that it is open to the public. She encourages any and all to try walking the stone-lined path. “It’s not until you actually walk (a labyrinth) that you realize why this has been a profound spiritual tradition over thousands of years,” said Kraft.
The church has also increased its missionary works, seeking to foster goodwill in the community at large. “Christian churches for a long time thought that they were keepers of the aquarium instead of fishers of people,” said Kraft.
Chronicle Journal – Peter Burkowski
Thursday, July 3, 2008
We invite you to walk St. Paul’s Prayer Labyrinth (Labyrinth Walking Brochure)
As part of our 100th Anniversary celebrations in 2008, a Labyrinth with red stone path markers and grass circuit was constructed in our side garden yard. The Labyrinth is a replica of the famous 11 circuit “Rose Labyrinth” on the floor of the historic Chartres Cathedral in France. You will notice that some of the path markers are engraved with family names, scripture verses, or special sayings.
How to Walk the Labyrinth
Our labyrinth is open anytime. Not everyone may be able to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but everyone can go on a Labyrinth Pilgrimage right on our church property.
The labyrinth is a symbolic form of pilgrimage; you can walk the path for contemplation, meditation, and spiritual renewal. It is a universal symbol for our ife’s journey, filled with twists and turns. Unlike a maze, there are no dead ends and no wrong turns in a labyrinth. You journey along one path into the centre, and then you return along the same path.
Stand quietly at the entrance and take one or two deep breaths.
Say a prayer and thank God for this time of journeying.
Begin to walk on the grassy pathway.
Walk with a question, an issue, a decision, or just be present for the experience.
Pick a pace that works for you. Stop and reflect along the way.
Be attentive to how you feel as you are walking. What are you experiencing?
What are you thinking about? What do you wish to let go of? When you reach the centre, stay there as long as you would like. What insights have you received? Say a prayer of thanksgiving to God.
As you walk out, pray to receive the blessings that God wants you to have.
More than one person may walk the labyrinth at one time. You may smile as people move by you, but do not speak with them. Silence is part of the experience.
May this labyrinth be a blessing to you
We invite you to support the maintenance and upkeep of our Labyrinth by purchasing an engraved brick Path Marker.