Lauren Artress, founder of Veriditas, the worldwide labyrinth project, will dedicate the stone labyrinth embedded in the west end of Saint Paul’s Church, 22 East Chestnut Hill Ave., at 10:15 a.m. Sunday, April 21.
Artress is an Episcopal priest and a pioneer of the ancient practice of the labyrinth for spiritual meditation and renewal. She serves as Canon of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
The threshold to the labyrinth at Saint Paul’s is formed by three stones cut from a single stone that had been set in Ely Cathedral in England in the 11th century. Across this ancient threshold one enters a five circuit, octagonal labyrinth patterned after the shape of the church’s baptistery and baptismal font.
The life journey of baptism and the journey of the labyrinth are both pilgrimages. There are no blind alleys to a labyrinth. If one stays to the path it is impossible to get lost. It is a perfect metaphor for any spiritual journey.
The center of the labyrinth is patterned after the four large, interlocking circles of the church’s rose window. The linked circles convey a sense of interconnection and wholeness. The center is a place of openness to whatever insight or wisdom may be received. When replenished, one leaves the center by the same way that one entered. On the return many walkers experience clarity and discover a new resolve.
Available to the wider community as well as to members of the church, the labyrinth will be open regularly on Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m and on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. At other times, those who wish to walk the labyrinth should stop at the church office to have the church opened.
The labyrinth was made possible through the generous gift of Edith R. Dixon who is committed to the healing space of Saint Paul’s. For more information about the labyrinth and its dedication on April 21, call 215-242-2055.