Click here to read an LA Daily News Article about the Prince of Peace labyrinth.
We are truly blessed to have a labyrinth here at Prince of Peace. It is an eight-circuit outdoor labyrinth patterned after
the one built in Cathedral of Chartres, France in the 12th century.
This Eagle Scout Badge project
by one of our troops members, was dedicated in September 2006. The photo on the right shows Fr. Rand blessing
Our labyrinth is listed on the
World Wide Web locator of all labyrinths
What is a labyrinth?
Labyrinths have appeared over the last 4000 years. They are part of Greek myths and history, with the battle
between Theseus and the infamous Minotaur. Labyrinths also appear in many and various countries throughout
the world; such as India, England, Scotland, and over 500 hundred in Scandinavia. They are part of the South
American and Southwest Indians. They were to ward off the evil eye, to keep witches and evil spirits at
bay, protection from any adversity. The Labyrinth itself was used as a tactical protection (as a maze) so
as penetration into the city (Troy) made it virtually impossible.
The labyrinth is a pattern that is actually laid in the floor
of most of these great cathedrals. It's 42 feet across, and it's one pattern -- a large circle that
has one path that begins and leads all the way through it. So you're not going to miss any inch of
the whole labyrinth. You just simply follow the paths. A lot of people confuse this. It's not a maze.
It's actually designed to help you find your way. It's not designed for you to lose your way in it. The
labyrinth is one path with eleven circuits, which means it goes around the center eleven times. This is
the pattern in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France. They are called pavement labyrinths. They are
flat to the floor and inlaid in the floor. A labyrinth, because it has one path, is really a spiritual
exercise -- you simply trust the path. Then you realize how much is in the way of just trusting the path,
even though your cognitive mind knows that it will take you to the center. You meet yourself. You might
be anxious. You might be judging. You might be scolding yourself that you're not going to do it right.
It becomes a mirror of the soul as you are walking the labyrinth. But there's the old joke of "Religion
is for people who believe in hell, and spirituality is for people who've been there."
How do I use the labyrinth?
The labyrinth is an ancient spiritual tool, used for the
purpose of prayer, meditation, reflection and contemplation. Throughout human history there
has been the practice of making a spiritual pilgrimage. The first Christians were called
"people of the Way," as they tried to follow the path Jesus set before them. In the Middle
Ages Christians were expected to travel to the Holy Land at least once during their lives.
As travel became too dangerous during the Crusades, certain cathedrals throughout Europe were
designated as "pilgrimage cathedrals." Christians would journey to those sites, where they
would make a prayer-walk of the labyrinth, laid in the cathedral's stone floor, as a symbolic
completion of their pilgrimage. This is why these labyrinths were sometimes called the "New
The labyrinth is built as a sacred space, to worship and pray, to walk it like a pilgrimage to Jerusalem,
The Labyrinth is a safe place. Basically no rules apply to walking it. You can go in at any place and
leave at any place in the Labyrinth. Setting a pace is important until you get to the center, as other
people maybe on the same journey. Walk around them if need be. But reflecting and meditating is one key,
and what may not be apparent today may show up at a later time.
The Labyrinth here at Prince of Peace is open everyday to the public. So reflect and enjoy.