Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

January 2009: Journeying - a New Year Labyrinth

january 2009 grace flyer

We used the cloth from the st pauls labyrinth. The narrative for the journey was threefold:

1. the journey to the centre gave space to reflect on the year gone by
2. the centre was a holy space to be with God
3. the journey out gave speace to reflect on the year ahead.

During the labyrinth we projected the film finisterre which is a wonderful hour's footage of London.

The nine stations on the labyrinth were as follows (text that was printed at each is in italics)

1. stillness

beanbags and mp3 players

listen, breathe be still
take one of the mp3 players. press play and listen
(the track was breathe for jenny baker's contemplative prayer EP on proost)

2. reflect

an icon of christ

where have you met christ this year?

3. thankfulness

trays of ferrero rocher with words wrapped around and the text

what did god unwrap for you in 2008?
what are you thankful for?
take and eat a sweet
do what it says on the sweet paper

4. sorrow

based around a poem by RS Thomas:

A Blackbird Singing

It seems wrong that out of this bird,
Black, bold, a suggestion of dark
Places about it, there yet should come
Such rich music, as though the notes'
Ore were changed to a rare metal
At one touch of that bright bill.

You have heard it often, alone at your desk
In a green April, your mind drawn
Away from its work by sweet disturbance
Of the mild evening outside your room.

A slow singer, but loading each phrase
With history's overtones, love, joy
And grief learned by his dark tribe
In other orchards and passed on
Instinctively as they are now,
But fresh always with new tears.

a bird's skeleton on display - lit from above by a dangling torch, and some ipods and headphones (dangling) with the song of a blackbird on them, and the questions:

what have you lost this year?
sometimes we only notice something when it's about to disappear.
read the poem
consider what you are leaving behind

5. holy space

bread and wine and a candle

take time
be with god
feed on christ

6. gift

gift box template

some origami gift boxes to make.

what gifts from the past year can you carry into the next?
a person youʼve met or known for a long time
an experience - good or bad
a new skill or talent you developed

take a gift template. write the 3 gifts on the back of each of the strips. make the gift and carry it with you.

to make the gift crease along each of the solid lines and open them out. then, holding the corner square, ʻplaitʼ the strips so the blank squares are hidden and the stripes form a gift ribbon on the outside.

7. hope

an icon of christ on card with glue and paper to add to it

what are your hopes for the coming year? we'll make an icon of christ together to symbolise the things we hope for. for each of your hopes tear some coloured paper or a section from a magazine page and stick it in an appropriate place on the icon, tearing it to fit if necessary.

8. fear

a pile of stones and a bucket of water

what are your fears and worries for the year ahead?
take a stone from the pile
imagine your fears and worries are held in the stone
in your own time drop the stone in the water
give your fears and worries to God who cares for you
leave them behind
let go

9. presence

an image with a hidden tiger in it

We had a group of visitors from Calvin College who recorded a very nice movie of the labyrinth and added it to Youtube. It shows good close-ups of all the stations. They used some of the 'St Pauls Cathedral Labyrinth' soundtrack which we didn't actually use in this service. See also our video below.


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Overall view. All photos © Richard Baker

Station 5 'Holy Space'.

Station 2 'Reflect'.



Station 4 'Sorrow', the hanging words, with Station 3 'Thankfulness' Ferrero Rocher chocolates behind.

Notice how Station 2 'Reflect' caused a hold-up - people stood there reflecting too long! We realised that we hadn't told people they could 'overtake' someone in front of them. The movie on the screen is St. Etienne's 'Finisterre'.

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