Church of the Redeemer offers free labyrinth walks to the Sno-King community each third Tuesday of the month in the Parish Hall. It is open for walking from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Our walks are open to all people who seek a quiet path for encountering the Holy.
The walk on an evening might be themed to the liturgical season, a special remembrance, an event in the life of the community, or other needs. You may participate in the guided walk for the evening, or you may walk for your own intentions. Help is available for those wanting some guidance, explanation, or encouragement.
Labyrinths provide sacred space for that encounter with the Holy. Walking the labyrinth allows us one way to slow down and “ponder the pattern our lives are weaving.” This is a whole-body experience. Walkers are invited to find their center in God, to discover answers to concerns, and to deepen their faith.
A Prayer for Pondering the Pattern
In this quiet hour I seek communion with you.
From the fret and fever of the day’s business,
from the world’s discordant noises,
from the praise and blame of people,
from the confused thoughts and vain imaginations of my own heart,
I would now turn aside and seek the quietness of your presence.
All day long have I toiled and striven.
But now, in the stillness of heart and
the clear light of your eternity,
I would ponder the pattern my life is weaving.
—The Very Rev John Baillie, A Diary of Private Prayer (1936)
The labyrinth team blossoms (opens) the labyrinth at 6:30 pm, before the walk begins. These walks begin at 7:00 pm. Please try to be on time, but we understand life and area traffic. Normally you will want at least a half-hour to walk, so that you won’t be rushed in your walk. The team begins storing and cleaning up at 8:00 pm.
We ask latecomers to enter quietly. You will receive individual instruction about the evening’s theme while others are walking.
While we appreciate help to set up and clean up, it is not necessary. The most important thing is simply to come to walk.
Labyrinth walking at Redeemer
There are two ways you can walk a labyrinth at Redeemer:
- Walk with your feet on the labyrinth blossomed on the floor.
- “Walk” with your fingers at a table with a table-top labyrinth.
Our canvas labyrinth for walking with your feet is the Circle of PeaceTM labyrinth. This a contemporary design by Lisa Gidlow-Moriarty. It incorporates elements of the following:
We offer table-top labyrinths in several patterns for walking with a finger or with a stylus, including the Circle of Peace labyrinth. Many people prefer walking with their fingers.
Read about specific labyrinth events at Church of the Redeemer.
Why you would walk a labyrinth
You can walk a labyrinth for a variety of reasons. Examples include the following:
- Finding the quiet center of your life
- Facilitating calm and stillness in a hectic world
- Seeking faithful clarity amidst life’s challenges and opportunities
- Listening to God
- Seeking healing for emotional and/or spiritual wounds
- Working on forgiveness
- Celebrating joyful occasions and happenings
- Receiving insights on problems, not necessarily spiritual problems
- Commemorating significant events or holy days
An ongoing practice of labyrinth walking can be a celebrated discipline for Christians seeking an authentic life of balanced wholeness in which intimate relationship with God is sought and valued. Regularly walking one, whether on your feet or on a table top with a finger or stylus, can add to the journey of faith.
Labyrinths and journeys of faith
The labyrinth is an ancient archetype of journey, pilgrimage, and centering. It is based on the spiral shape found in nature.
Walking labyrinths have existed for a very long time. Fine examples include stone labyrinths in the Scandinavian countries, near the ocean and bays.
The symbol has appeared in various media through the ages, such as petroglyphs, pavement, grass, and basketry. They have appeared throughout most parts of the world, from Java, Native North and South America, and Australia, to India and Nepal.
The use of a labyrinth is not exclusively Christian, whether in ancient times or today. However, Christians frequently make use of them in their prayer lives.
As a spiritual tool within the Christian tradition, labyrinths date back to at least the fourth century. The date of the first definitively Christian labyrinth is from about 324 CE. It is at Al-Asnam, in what is now Algeria. It is in the Roman (square) shape. In the center, it has a palindrome of “Sancta Eclesia” (Holy Church). Many of these early ones were designed for finger walking or visual contemplation.
Indoor labyrinths became popular when large cathedrals were built in Europe. One such example is in Cathédral Notre-Dame de Chartres (Our Lady of Chartres Cathedral) in France, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1991, Canon Lauren Artress brought the concept of the Chartres labyrinth to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. It is the work of Canon Lauren that drew the contemporary world’s attention to the labyrinth as a spiritual tool.
Today, labyrinths are in wide use by Christians across North America, Europe, portions of Africa, and Asia, once again. Labyrinths are for use without regard to faith professions.
Church of the Redeemer
Church of the Redeemer is at 6210 181st Street in Kenmore, Washington. We are a short distance north of Bothell Way, near the Burke-Gilman Trail. The entrance looks like a gravel driveway. The campus is larger on the inside than it is on the outside.
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