In Celebration of the 175th Anniversary of Christ Church Cathedral
Candlelight Labyrinth Liturgy
Saturday April 7th, 2007
420 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario,Canada
Gather by the New Fire at 7:00 p.m.
Working in collaboration with Dean Shane Parker of Christ Church Cathedral we conceived the idea of incorporating a Labyrinth walk within the “Service of Light” found in the Anglican Book of Alternative Services.
It has been a wonderfully rich and creative exercise to weave together the ancient symbols and metaphors of the Labyrinth with the equally ancient rites of the Easter Celebration. I was drawn into this web and amazed at how complimentary the two sacred observances are.
The flow of the Candlelight Labyrinth Liturgy:
Guests will arrive and gather around the “New Fire”in the Foyer. I will make an introductory explanation of the order of service.
The service begins with the lighting of the Paschal Candle and then a Procession will lead guests from the Foyer into the Hall where the Labyrinth has been laid. The Dean will lead carrying the Paschal Candle into the Labyrinth and rest at the centre. Participants will carry an unlit taper into the Labyrinth and each person will light their own candle from the Pascal Candle thus receiving the “Light of Christ” at the centre of the Labyrinth. Each person then leaves the Labyrinth carrying the “light of Christ” out into the world.
A group of singers will be the first the enter and leave the Labyrinth. They will gather around the
labyrinth after their walk and begin an Alleluia Chant. Guests may join the chant as they finish their walk. The Dean and the Pascal Candle will be the last to leave the Labyrinth and all will follow him into the Church in a Candlelight procession. Seated in the Chancel we will hear the Exsultet chanted and the Liturgy ends with an exchange of the Peace.
Of coarse I don’t know how long this will all take. It depends how many people show up.
The following are four different ways to approach the Labyrinth. These were provided to participants a week before the Labyrinth Liturgy.
The Labyrinth as Journey or Pilgrimage.
The labyrinth is an ancient spiritual tool found in many cultures and spiritual traditions around the world. At Chartres Cathedral in France a tile labyrinth was built in the 1200’s. It was a place for a symbolic pilgrimage during the time of the crusades when it was too dangerous for Christians to journey to Jerusalem. Walking the labyrinth can be a metaphor for the journey of life and faith.
The Labyrinth of Renewal
In the darkness the new fire is kindled; with it comes new hope. The labyrinth invites you in, and it welcomes you back. Walk it as a prayer of remembrance for all who have come before you. Walk the labyrinth as a prayer of renewal in the same way we renew our vows of Baptism. Rediscover the labyrinth as an ancient tool of prayer. The invitation is to welcome the Light of Christ into your life anew.
The Labyrinth of Discovery
Discover the sacred in the everyday act of walking. Walk in meditation to an interior place where the rational merges with the intuitive and the spiritual arises. Discover something new in the practice of walking the labyrinth. The ancient practice of walking the labyrinth can be used to solve problems, soothe nerves, calm the soul, bring us into balance and give us a sense of wholeness. Walk the labyrinth to relate the essence of Easter to your life today.
The Labyrinth of Celebration
“This is the night when Jesus broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.”
Easter Eve marks the end of our Lenten Observance. This is the night Christ passed from death to life. You are invited to come together in community, in vigil and prayer to use the experience of the labyrinth to mark the transition from darkness into light . Receive the light of Christ in the centre of the labyrinth.
Please continue this dialogue by adding your comments and observations.
Go in Peace,
Barbara Brown Artist and Facilitator