Blessing A Labyrinth: Westminister Presbyterian Church, Dayton, Ohio

This material is used by permission.
Please contact Miriam Lawrence Leupold if you would like to use this material.

LITANY OF BLESSING
Led by Karen Clute

Karen:  A winding path that leads to a central space and then out again by the same path.

Community: Bless this labyrinth and all who walk it.

Karen:  A wondrous pathway that may become a mirror for our own lives and metaphor for our spiritual journey

Community: Bless this labyrinth and all who walk it.

Karen:  A circle and a spiral, each a powerful and ancient symbol of unity, wholeness and transformation

Community: Bless this labyrinth and all who walk it.

Karen: A tool of spiritual growth, healing and transformation of heart, body, mind and spirit

Community: Bless this labyrinth and all who walk it.

Karen: A spiritual discipline of setting one foot in front of the other and following a path.

Community: Bless this labyrinth and all who walk it.

Karen: A calling forth of our intuitive symbolic mind and creative meandering spirit.

Community: Bless this labyrinth and all who walk it.

Karen: A deeply healing container where we can touch our joys and sorrows.

Community: Bless this labyrinth and all who walk it.

Note: The litany comes from Westminster’s labyrinth brochure which borrowed from the labyrinth brochure from the Weber Center in Adrian, Michigan.


PRAYER

Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of this labyrinth and the opportunity it gives us to walk with you.  We thank you, loving God, for the many hands and hearts that helped create it.  We ask that you send your Holy Spirit to bless us, this canvas and all who follow us on this path.  May all who enter this path be guided by your love.  We pray, Gentle God, that all who walk this path now and in the future may find what they seek and what they deeply need.  May they find direction and wisdom, comfort and encouragement, a deeper sense of self and of their place in your good creation, an awareness of the Divinity within all creation,

Gracious God, bless this labyrinth to be a tool of your divine work in the world.  We ask that you bless everyone and anyone who walks it searching for you, for deeper meaning to their lives, and for healing of their souls.  May your Holy Spirit be with them sustaining them and may all who leave the labyrinth be strengthened to serve others in your name.  We give you thanks, O God, for drawing us closer to you.  Amen.

Note: The prayer was adapted from a dedication service from The Rev. Marion L. Rhyne in Concord, NC, in which she credited M. Swig Memorial Labyrinth Dedication, Grace Cathedral Dedication, Chrysalis Labyrinth Dedication and a prayer by the Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress. 


Labyrinth Dedication—8/31/03

Westminster Presbyterian Church, Dayton, Ohio

During worship—the Rev. Miriam Lawrence Leupold

We come this morning to dedicate our new labyrinth to the glory of God.  Humans have been walking labyrinths for over 5000 years.  In the ongoing search for life’s meaning, for comfort, for healing, for wisdom, for direction, for communion with the Divine, people have turned to the labyrinth as a spiritual tool, a sacred place to meet God.

What is a labyrinth?  Some would say that it is a maze.  But a maze is designed so that you will loose your way.  A labyrinth is designed so that you will find your way.  A maze requires that you make choices, that you use your head.  A labyrinth requires no other choice than whether or not to walk it.  With a maze there are dead ends and wrong turns, with a labyrinth there are no dead ends and no wrong turns.  In a labyrinth there is one path which leads circuitously into the center—that same path leads circuitously back out.  It is one of the oldest contemplative and transformational tools known to humanity.

Since the early 1990s the labyrinth has experienced a renewal especially in the United States.  More and more labyrinths are being placed throughout the country in churches, hospitals, schools, private homes, parks and retreat centers.  People are more aware of their spiritual hunger and the labyrinth is a safe place where that hunger can be explored and people can be nourished.

Our labyrinth began it’s journey to us in California.  It is designed after the labyrinth on the floor in Chartres Cathedral in France.  Our labyrinth was hand painted by people at Veriditas–the Worldwide Labyrinth Project.  I received training in labyrinth facilitation with Veriditas’ director, the Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress.  Lauren is the Canon of special ministries at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Last November we held three workshops at Westminster in which over 100 church members learned about and experienced the labyrinth.  After those experiences there was an interest in purchasing our own labyrinth and beginning a ministry using the labyrinth.  After prayer and discussion, the decision was made to pursue such a vision.  We purchased this labyrinth using funds from Sara Evans memorial.  Some of you knew Sara who died tragically in 2000, a mother of three in her 30s.  Her husband, John Danish, and two sons, Evan and Nathan, have remained active in the life of Westminster.  It is through their generosity and the donations received in honor of Sara, that we have been able to purchase this labyrinth.

I urge you after worship to come down to Fellowship Hall to see the labyrinth.  We ask that you not bring food or drinks into Fellowship Hall so that we can avoid staining the labyrinth should there be a spill.  At 11:20 I’ll talk briefly about the labyrinth, and we will bless the labyrinth.  You are welcome to walk the labyrinth at that time.

Let us now dedicate our labyrinth—let us pray.

Gracious God, we dedicate this labyrinth to your glory.    We are aware, as we dedicate this labyrinth, that you call us to be your people and to journey with you.  We give you thanks that you do not dessert us along our journey, but call us to walk knowing that you are with us.

We ask, Lord God, that you bless each person who comes to this labyrinth seeking to be in touch with you, the Source of Life.  May each step release our burdens and bring us into the quiet of eternal love.  Open us to the joy and comfort that your companionship brings to our earthly journey.  Guide our feet to live lives of service.

May this labyrinth be a sacred space, a safe place, to explore who we are as your children that we may grow in new life as we continue on the journey.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray.  Amen.