What is a Labyrinth?
The Labyrinth is a path of prayer. Unlike a maze, the Labyrinth has no dead ends and no choices to make. A Labyrinth has one path to the center. Walking the labyrinth is contemplative prayer where you can use your body to prayerfully stand, walk, dance, sit or kneel. The labyrinth at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is modeled after the labyrinth at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres, France. The labyrinth path is approximately 1.5 city blocks if it is walked from the entrance to the middle. For more suggestions on ways to walk a labyrinth, download A Guide to the Labyrinth.
The Labyrinth is open during office hours during the week when the room is available. Call the Parish Office to check availability (262) 782-6760.
There are other labyrinths in the area. Click Labyrinths in the Area to find information regarding other labyrinths in the area.
Walking the Labyrinth – a reflection by David Stack
When I walk the Labyrinth at St Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in New Berlin, the experience mirrors my spiritual journey. At first there is the difficulty in literally slowing down and focusing on the journey rather than the “destination” in the center.
I am beguiled by how quickly I almost reach the center upon entering the labyrinth. After just a dozen or so steps, I could easily hop over a couple lines and arrive. When we first come to an adult awakening of faith, the spiritual path seems clear and God feels close and personal.
As the journey continues, the straight path gives way to meandering. God still feels imminent, but the rapid progress has slowed and the cares of the world start to pull us sideways. In the case of the labyrinth, I find myself wandering further from the center.
As the spiritual journey continues the danger of cooling off and becoming lukewarm increases. On the labyrinth, I find myself wandering around the periphery far from the center. This is discouraging and I wonder if I crossed paths with someone coming the other way and got into the wrong lane. Perhaps I am heading back out the way I came in.
Finally, the entrance to the labyrinth appears in front of me. The long sojourn appears to have gone nowhere. Doesn’t our spiritual journey feel like that sometimes?
Standing again at the candlesticks that mark the entrance, only one thin line separates where I am standing now from the spot where I took my first step. Because of that line, I turn and continue to follow the path off to the right. After a dozen steps I’m in the center.
Isn’t this how God is often revealed? We journey for a long time and wind up back where we started, but not quite. The scales fall from our eyes and we see that we’ve arrived and that God has been close to us the entire time despite all of our meandering along the way. I find it reassuring to periodically revisit this journey on the labyrinth.
Come discover where the labyrinth journey will take you! The labyrinth is open from 6:30-8 pm on the first Thursday evening of the month beginning October 3rd. New to the October labyrinth; Labyrinth Attendants will be available to help answer your labyrinth questions and get you started.
The Labyrinth Ministry makes available the Labyrinth as a contemplative prayer walk in a meditative setting. The ministers prepare the environment and are present to answer questions and/or guide persons interested. Ministers invite, welcome, give overviews of ways to walk the Labyrinth and answer any questions.
This is one of the few ministries where people of various faith traditions come to our church to pray. It is an opportunity to pray together as well as an opportunity for learning and discovery. The labyrinth ministers have an opportunity to share their love of the labyrinth with others.
Current needs include:
- Committee Members – people who are interested in welcoming, explaining and answering questions for others who come in to use the labyrinth. (On-the-job training is provided)
- Publicity Chairperson – We are looking for new ways to publicize our ministry to others and help advertise the ministry to interested parties.
- Music Technologist – We are looking for someone to create a new mix of music for various seasons and to convert our current CD’s to a newer technology. The music technologist would also train the other members of the committee on the use of the technology.
Date: The committee meets once a year to discuss ways to expand the ministry. The Labyrinth is currently staffed the first Thursday evening from October to April; Thursday evenings during Lent; perhaps one additional evening during Advent and at other times by request.
Time: 1.5 hours – 2 hours for welcoming labyrinth walkers and answering questions, and 30 minutes for set up and clean up. Committee members are given on the job training and are assigned times to work based on their schedule. There is time for members to walk the labyrinth during their assigned time.