Labyrinth prayer service set

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 335 Locust St., Johnstown, has a Chartres-style 30-foot diameter 11-circuit labyrinth laid in the stone pavers of the courtyard in front of the entrance to the parish hall and adjacent to the Memorial Garden.

The labyrinth, installed in the late 1990s, will be the site of a Community Common Prayer Service at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The service will be based on the spiritual experience of walking the labyrinth.

Unlike a maze which has puzzling dead ends, the labyrinth is a continuous winding path enabling a walking meditation that can be utilized by anyone. The labyrinth symbolizes a spiritual journey through life and can help people find healing peace and connection with the Divine.

The walk along the winding path begins with “purgation” or release of the daily stressors that preoccupy people and separate us from the Divine. Each problem is considered and then set free.

When the center of the labyrinth is reached, if one is open and receptive, “illumination” or transformation may occur. This is a place for prayer or meditation, a time of discernment and insight into our difficulties.

As the winding path is retraced from the center, “union” or renewal takes place. One may experience feelings of wholeness, healing or joy resulting from unity with the Divine.

Walking the labyrinth is unique to each individual and the experience may be different from one time to the next. What is constant is the sacredness of this holy space.

The service is free. All are welcome.

For additional information, contact the Rev. Nancy L. Threadgill at the church office, 535-6797 or revnancy-stmarks @atlanticbbn.net.