The labyrinth is a sacred pattern that leads you on a path to its center and back out again. It’s a way of praying with the body that invites God into an active conversation with the heart and soul.

“Movement and Meditation Beyond Words”

The labyrinth is a sacred pattern that leads you on a path to its center and back out again. It’s a way of praying with the body that invites God into an active conversation with the heart and soul.

This autumn, Cathedral Labyrinth Walks now offers you more opportunities to walk the labyrinth at the Cathedral. Drop in the crypt to walk the labyrinth in St. Joseph’s Chapel on the dates listed below (see Cathedral calendar). Walks are free and open to the public. No tickets are required for Cathedral Labyrinth Walks or Cathedral Crossroads.

  • Sunday, January 5, 1—4 pm
  • Sunday, February 2, 1—4 pm
  • Tuesday, February 25, 5—9 pm
  • Sunday, March 1, 1—4 pm
  • Tuesday, April 28, 5—9 pm

Laughter Yoga Returns to Cathedral Crossroads! Tuesday, January 28

Join us for an evening of contemplative practices. Labyrinths open for walkers at 6:30 pm in the nave. Healing Ministers are available in Holy Spirit Chapel for prayer from 6:30–7:30 pm. The evening ends with Compline, a service of spoken nighttime prayers, at 8:45 pm in the Great Choir.

Special Program for January Crossroads — Laughter Yoga to Beat the Winter Blues with Diane Cohen

7:30 – 8:30 pm, St. Joseph’s Chapel

Prepare to laugh away the winter blues and enter into a new year with Laughter Yoga. Combining laughter exercises and gentle yoga breathing, Laughter Yoga brings a sense of joy, playfulness, and fun. It’s easy. It’s for everyone – aged five – 95. All that’s required is an ability to laugh. (NO POSES OR MAT REQUIRED) It’s not political; religious, competitive, or judgmental. We get the same benefits – lowered stress hormones, increased feel good hormones, and general feelings of well being – from intentional laughter as we do from natural laughter.

Diane Cohen, is an Executive and Career/Life Transition Certified Coach and Certified Laughter Yoga Leader. She started practicing traditional yoga and meditation in the 70s and laughter yoga in 2012. She has led laughter yoga sessions for breast cancer patients and their caretakers, hospital staff members, and the general public. Her laughter yoga sessions have been featured in a Voice of America video, the City Paper, and on WTOP’s website.

Mark your calendar for the March 31 and May 26 upcoming Cathedral Crossroads nave labyrinth walks and check this page after the beginning of the year for more information about the special programs for those evening.


What is a Labyrinth?

While the labyrinth is an ancient pattern that pre-dates Christianity, it was adopted as a decorative motif by churches quite early and soon became a symbol used for meditation and prayer. There are finger labyrinths carved into the stone walls of churches in the Mediterranean dating back to the 4th century. These well-worn designs tell the story of generations of worshipers who would trace the patterns with their fingers before entering church for prayer and worship.

In the Middle Ages, cathedrals in Europe began to construct larger labyrinths, inlaid in floors of the nave or outbuildings of the churches. These larger labyrinths were walked or even danced during special services, such as during the celebration of Easter morning. The labyrinth in the floor of the nave at Chartres Cathedral in France is the most well-known of the medieval designs and is the pattern used in the canvas replicas at Washington National Cathedral. The Chartres labyrinth is composed of eleven circuits or paths and is divided into four quadrants, clearly defined by a cross. The center of the labyrinth is a six petal rose-shaped area for resting, prayer, or meditation.

The Washington Post featured CCPP Coordinator Terri Lynn Simpson on how to walk in a labyrinth:

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