Regional Representative of the Labyrinth Society, and Oblate at this Monastery, Dan Raven along with his wife, Wencke, quietly celebrated World Labyrinth Day at our St. Scholastica Labyrinth on the evening of May 2. Dan reflects on the experience and offers it up for us all in prayer during this time of pandemic and social distancing: "Some short history on our Labyrinth on the occasion of the 12th World Labyrinth Day. St. Scholastica's Labyrinth is 21 years old this June. And one of my favorite stories is from July 6, 1999 at the lay dedication. Sister Jane Smith, OSB, Prioress at the time, welcomed our group of 40 or 50 with the words, "However you pray, you are welcome. This is a place of prayer." Over the years, many good people have come and prayed in their own way - in joy and sadness, seeking answers and whatever else you can imagine.
Usually, World Labyrinth Day would have an opening ceremony, open walking all day long, people coming and going as they wish and then a closing ceremony at dusk with the candles surrounding the Labyrinth, with prayers and singing. The largest grouping of the day would be at this closing time. Often I wished I could just sit with the candles and the quite at the end of the day. But with all the books, finger labyrinths, chairs and tables to gather up; the end was a busy time. This year with the social distancing, we could not have a group, so with permission, my wife Wencke and I would do a small ceremony with candles and just the two of us.
That night, Wencke and I lite about 60 candles and placed them around the labyrinth, we each walked and sat as we wanted and then sat for a long time, mostly in silence. Gradually the candles started to burn out, in no particular order, we thought that was a fitting way to let the evening end. Quieting. One by one, lights going out, No fanfare. No real program. Silent prayers. Some short stories about people we knew who had gone on. Some tears. Some laughs. Some silence.
Many great memories - from getting permission to build on this site: Gathering the materials, the 1999-2000 the 24 hour overnight program, a native flute at midnight, and our wedding June 26, 2010. The years with large groups, and the music. "You'll never walk alone" playing in my head. We prayed for ourselves, our families and communities and for you, your families and communities too. United in prayer, for peace, and with gratitude." Peace and Love, Dan
All photos courtesy of Oblate Dan Raven, May 2, 2020.