This topic originally began as a question and has exploded into a wonderful record of success with creating/praying Prayer Labyrinths for children, youth and adults.  Lots of good ideas and labyrinth variations here.

You are welcome to add to the discussion.



Some photos of prayer labyrinths:

Check out the lesson here at Rotation.org that uses this Cross Prayer "Labyrinth"




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Original Post

"Praying the Labyrinth" is a great spiritual tool for children and youth.

I've walked the labyrinth and held mini-workshops on it. You can even make a very simple spiral walking path with a rope on the ground. There are many ways to focus the prayer while walking... a simple guided meditation to start and to bring the kids down to a quiet frame of mind. There are also many ways to walk the labyrinth as a group.

Pilgrim Press has several books about the spiritual practice of praying a Labyrinth with some excellent quick ideas. www.ThePilgrimPress.com https://www.thepilgrimpress.com/search?q=labyrinth

I've seen labyrinth walking be a very healing time for youth after a tragedy at school for instance. As such, I plan to introduce it to our Confirmation class this year.

Blessings,
Alecia

I love the Labrynth we created at our church and walk it every chance I get. It is a most wonderful meditative tool and place to pray.

We have one cut into grass that is kept up at our Church Camp. I take my children with me and they too have found it to be a wonderful experience. 

I recieved something in the mail at church the other day about a way to make a type of Labrynth on painter's drop cloth that would be as big as a large room and there were activities you did at each station using different learning styles I believe. We may buy this to use with our teens. I will be taking my teens through the labrynth this weekend when we go to the camp for our Fall Conference for our diocese's teens.

SheilaB

I put together a lesson for our Daniel rotation which focused on prayer in our art workshop.

Our kids enjoyed it! It was very different for them and one group did nothing but giggle the whole time, even though we tried to make it meditative. Wink

Because that workshop leader was out one week, I led the lesson for our 3rd/4th graders and they really seemed to get into it. The site listed above also has a "finger prayer labyrinth" that we copied onto cardstock for them to take home.

I thought I posted my lesson, but now realize I didn't ... so I'm off right now to do that! Look under the Daniel lessons.

Jan @ First Pres. Napa, CA

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A church in a town near us (Down East, ayah) has a large, room size labyrinth. I took my 5-6 graders there as part of a Middle school youth group, not regular sunday school. They loved it, and 2 years later, still ask if they could go back. Or maybe it was the trip to Pizza Hut after...anyway, I think much younger would be racing around it too fast. But the 5-6 graders really liked it.

 

Has anyone done that "Labyrinth in a Can" deal from Group Publishing?

"Walking Prayer" was one of the spiritual disciplines explored in the Covenant People curriculum of the Presbyterian Church (USA). When we were working with it, we found an incredibly beautiful carved wooden "finger labyrinth" online at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco
(see pictures here for examples https://thelabyrinthcollective.com.au/). It cost about $200, but it is a remarkable experience in itself with smooth wooden grooves through which you run a finger as you patiently, slowly, and prayerfully enter and then leave the center of the labyrinth.

It was a very spiritual experience for our kids. If the cost of the wooden labyrinth is prohibitive, you can still use the idea of the finger labyrinth with a xerox of the pattern from Chartres Cathedral.

The origin of the labyrinth at Chartres, as I understand it, was for those who were unable to make pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the Middle Ages. The labyrinth allowed them to take an internal and figurative journey. The finger labyrinth works well in its own substitute way, too.

Our church has a labyrinth that I have often used as a workshop rotation station. Any time the lesson has to do with travel or a journey.

 

--The labyrinth paths represented the road to Damascus when we studied Saul's conversion.

 

--At Christmas, the entrance to the labyrinth was Jerusalem and the center was Bethlehem as the children "journeyed to the manger" They acted as if they were Joseph and Mary traveling. We placed symbols along the paths that represented the journey like, wheat, dirt, dove, a rope and we talked about the symbols along the way. In the center of the labyrinth at Bethlehem we had a life size manger.

 

--I use the labyrinth for reenacting stories. The sacred center of the labyrinth ends up being a wonderful place for discussion of our journeys.

For two years I have offered a 36 hour Easter Vigil using 11 Stations of the Cross but this year I added the concept of a labyrinth to the experience. I got this labyrinth - it is a rectangle - from Group Publishing material called "The Prayer Path" .

 

This has 11 different stations to help youth learn this method of learning about God and themselves - it uses videos and CD's.

 

We made the labyrinth from 9 drop cloths and duct tape. On the other side we made a seven circuit labyrinth. I put our labyrinth out twice a month. I had it available on Sept 11 (I live 20 miles fro D.C.) and at least 20 people walked it. I provide a journal for people to write down their experiences and to help keep track of how many people walk the labyrinth. I am sure more people walked it.

 

I also put out a brochure I have prepared to help people learn how to use this tool and I also have two CD's for people to play if they like - one is from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. We are working on making a more permanent labyrinth in our parking lot and maybe even one on our lawn. I have prepared a 10 'Stations of the Nativity' which I will provide on December 10th during Advent. I had a feeling that a labyrinth was needed in our community. We have found this to be a much needed and appreciated spiritual tool for members of our church and others in the comunity. If you would like more information, please contact me.


We used a labyrinth I made using two painter's drop cloths duct taped together at Christmas. The kids went on a journey to Bethlehem and along the way stopped to do different activities, pick up symbol, say a prayer, listen to music etc.

 

I'm going to use a regular Chartre Cathedral type labyrinth in Lent and have them follow a "Prayer Pathway" while they experience different ways of praying through art, music, movement, scripture etc. When we did it during Advent, we kept the lights low and lit a candle as they entered the labyrinth to help them prepare themselves for a more contemplative type exerience. They were very attentive and responsive.

I adapted the Cornerstones David lesson using a labyrinth. [Update 2016: In the past year or so, the founders of Cornerstones retired. Their website and materials are no longer available. ]

I found a wonderful website at http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth.htm. I especially enjoyed the description on a "Joy Walk," http://www.lessons4living.com/rituals.htm, in which it is used in a celebrative attitude. Rhythmic music is played, musical instruments, scarves, and bubbles are given to the participants as they walk and support the walkers. Sounds like a very different but exciting use of the labyrinth.

Our youth set up "The Prayer Path" by Group, duct taping the labyrinth right on our commercial carpet and it came up easily.

 

After walking it myself, I loved it so much that I asked them to leave it up so I could use it with the children. Rather than listening to the CD's as they went through, we took them in groups of two or three, and read them the booklet at each station. Activites at the stations included planting a seed, making a fingerprint, using compasses and magnets, making footprints in sand, and so on. The idea is that as you journey inward, you ready yourself to meet God in the center, and take God with you as you journey out again to do His good works in the world. The children loved it!

 

I was amazed at how quiet and respectful they were of this activity. One boy told his grandmother, "I really liked meeting God today. I could feel Him with me." What a success!!!

Our annual "Family Camp" over Labor Day weekend theme this year was "Walkin' with the Son" so we set up a prayer walk/labyrinth.

We used this free resource called "God's Peace, My Peace" from Cook Ministries.

https://thehopejourney.files.w...odspeace-mypeace.pdf

It was both simple enough for kids and deep enough for adults. We did make a few adaptions. One was rather than have a cd/tape to listen to at each station, we printed it in a simple "brochure". The high schoolers did it as a group in the evening and we placed luminaries along the path for them. The middle schoolers also did it as a group. Everyone else (elementary age kids with parents) and adults did it on their own during free time. Those who chose to do it really liked the concrete examples of focused prayer.

[Volunteer Moderator updated dead link.]

I think doing a Labyrinth with kids is a great way to teach them a spiritual practice and to allow them to connect with God in a new way. Our local conference center has a fantastic outdoor labyrinth that was built as a work project by the CIT's. They used big rocks to make the outdoor labyrinth, an idea that can be replicated on the front lawn of your church, taken down, etc.

 

They do night labyrinth walks with the kids where they set up candles in the labyrinth and let the campers walk it at night, which is a very moving experience.

 

I have found that all age groups respond well to labyrinths and they are a wonderful tool. Our camp center is Johnsonburg Camp Center in Johnsonburg, NJ. The outside rock labyrinth is great because the kids "style" it and they set the whole thing up, therefore having lots of ownership, which also is important. I also believe that if you contact the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, that they "rent" out their labryinth from time-to-time. Princeton Theological Seminary also owns one for those of you in the Northeast.

Include the kids in painting the labyrinth! You can use a simple pattern (there are several differnt types of patterns) and make the outline with chalk and then paint over it with regular house paint. You can use heavy canvas to paint on, and then just fold it up when it is dry so it is very portable. The labyrinth we made is 28 feet by 32 feet, and it fits in a large rolling suit case.
Wormy just got done editing the GARDENING WORKSHOP discussion and realizes that some of those ideas are complementary to some of the Labyrinth ideas posted here. 

For example, the Gardening Workshop suggests ideas about planting a garden PATH with Bible plants that tell a story and has "stations" (think "Exodus journey" or Parable of the Sower/soils. Another garden features a 'secret' garden with contemplative verse stepping stones.

Lesson using a Labyrinth

"Jesus Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane - Prayer Labyrinth Station Workshop" by Cathy Walz posted here at rotation.org link

Summary of Lesson Activities: You will be doing 2 activities with the students—walking a prayer labyrinth and stopping at 4 stations along the way.  You will also be creating a prayer bead craft.

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Susan Kolb
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