Labyrinths, which came into their own in the Middle Ages, are now attracting more attention in the metro area, possibly due to the need for peace and tranquility amid busy lifestyles, a local religious leader said.
The Rev. Susan Joplin, canon at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 127 NW 7, and the cathedral recently hosted “The Day of the Labyrinth,” focusing on the “pattern with a purpose.”
The Aug. 17 event, based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, was designed as an introduction to labyrinths, Joplin said.
The event included a guided labyrinth walk featuring an 11-circuit portable labyrinth made of canvas. She said the portable labyrinth was made in the Chartres-style, featuring probably the most well-known labyrinth pattern that is on the nave floor of the Chartres Cathedral in northern France.
“Of the 65 people who participated, about half of them were walking the labyrinth for the first time, which was great,” she said.
Attendees also walked an outdoor four-circuit labyrinth created three years ago in the east garden of St. Paul's.
Joplin, a certified labyrinth walk facilitator, said labyrinths are not new.
“It has been used by Christians for many, many years, coming into its own in the Middle Ages,” she said. When it became too dangerous to attempt the spiritual journey to Jerusalem during the Crusades, Christians created labyrinth cathedrals where they could take symbolic walks along a sacred path, Joplin said.