The Labyrinth at ELPC
An ancient tool for individual walking meditation and prayer.
Regular schedule: New! Open early on Mondays from 7 am–1 pm, and on Wednesdays from 9 am–9 pm. Check the calendar for any schedule changes.
About the Labyrinth
The labyrinth is an ancient, sacred symbol found in many religious traditions throughout the world. During the Middle Ages, labyrinths were prominent in numerous cathedrals in Europe, where Christians walked floor labyrinths or traced their fingers along the carved ridges of wall labyrinths. For medieval Christians, the labyrinth was a symbolic pilgrimage: instead of taking a costly and dangerous pilgrimage to Jerusalem, worshipers made a symbolic journey on a cathedral labyrinth. The best know of these Christian labyrinths is in Chartres Cathedral in France, which was built during the 13th century.
The “Chartres” labyrinth style with eleven circuits
Today, modern pilgrims walk the labyrinth as one of many ways to pray and meditate. The winding path into the center and back out again is a metaphor for the journeys of life and faith. Unlike a maze, which has many paths and is a puzzle to solve, the labyrinth is a single path in and a single path out, and is designed to quiet the mind for prayer and meditation.
Walking the labyrinth at ELPC
The “Santa Rosa” labyrinth style with seven circuits
Thousands have walked the labyrinth at East Liberty Presbyterian Church since the Labyrinth Ministry began here back in 1996. Today we have four floor labyrinths, all on canvas. Three of the floor labyrinths are the 11-circuit Chartres pattern and are 36 feet in diameter. The fourth, in the Santa Rosa style with seven circuits or paths, is 24 feet.
During the summer months when the weather permits, the labyrinth is placed outside in the beauty and serenity of our courtyard. Throughout the rest of the year and in prohibitive weather during the summer, the labyrinth is specially set up in the Sanctuary.
The Labyrinth Ministry at ELPC
East Liberty Presbyterian Church was one of the first churches in the Pittsburgh region to develop a labyrinth ministry. The labyrinth has since become an integral part of our diverse, multicultural ministry, and it serves as a bridge for reaching Christian seekers and friends of all faiths.
Each year, events, worship services and other activities for the congregation and the community are coordinated by our labyrinth ministry team. Opportunities include:
Labyrinth Prayer Walk
Used an ancient, sacred tool for individual walking meditation and prayer, the winding path into the center and back out again is a metaphor for the journeys of life and faith. A public labyrinth is available for walking every Monday from 7 am–1 pm, and Wednesday from 9 am–9 pm. Check the calendar for any schedule changes.
The labyrinth is also set up for special events held during liturgical seasons of the year.
Would you like to borrow one of our labyrinths?
It is possible to arrange for a representative of our Labyrinth Ministry to bring one of our two portable (36 or 24 feet in diameter) labyrinths to your event in the greater Pittsburgh area. Your group may also make arrangements at a special time or day to visit our labyrinth, and meet with a guide. Please contact the Rev. Mary Lynn Callahan, spiritual life director, at 412.441.3800 x141.