Blessing of a Labyrinth

Labyrinth, Blessing of a Labyrinth, Feast of St. Philip

Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path

Last evening, May 1, our parish celebrated its feast day, the Feast of St. Philip. The evening included Holy Eucharist and a dedication and blessing of the newly completed labyrinth and prayer garden using the liturgy below.

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Through the ages, Almighty God has moved his people to set apart holy places for prayer and to recognize and celebrate God’s presence in those places. With gratitude and thanksgiving for this labyrinth and prayer garden, Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path, we are now gathered to dedicate and bless it in God’s Name.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, we thank you for the beauty of creation, for making us in your image and likeness, and for calling us to be your people and follow you on the path of holiness and life. We offer this work of human hands, Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path, to be set apart and blessed as a place of prayer and worship, discernment and discovery, healing and reconciliation, celebration and thanksgiving, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Litany of Pilgrimage (the congregation is invited to offer the following petitions)

O God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth,
Have mercy upon us.

O God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon us.

O God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the faithful,
Have mercy upon us.

O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, one God,
Have mercy upon us.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
Be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope.

Holy Archangels, Angels and, bodiless powers of heaven,
Be at our side to guide and guard us on our way. 

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Accompany and pray for us.

Blessed Philip, patron of our parish,
Accompany and pray for us.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of faith, hope, and love for all who walk in the ways of virtue and discipleship,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of prayer for all who walk in the ways of relationship and union with you,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of silence, stillness, and solitude for all who walk in the ways of presence to and knowledge of you,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of transformation and growth for all who walk in the ways of seeking and longing,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of thanksgiving and gratitude for all who walk in the ways of celebration and joy,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of wisdom and discernment for all who walk in the ways of confusion and darkness,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of hope and consolation for all who walk in the ways of sorrow and grief,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of courage and perseverance for all who walk in the ways of fear and anxiety,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of strength and encouragement for all who walk in the ways of weakness and discouragement,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of rest and refreshment for all who walk in the ways of busyness and weariness,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of forgiveness and reconciliation for all who walk in the ways of guilt and estrangement,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of healing and restoration for all who walk in the ways of illness and brokenness,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of friendship and welcome for all who walk in the ways of loneliness and isolation,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide.

That Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path may be a path of life and resurrection for all who walk in the ways of death and loss,
Lord, hear our prayer and be our guide

The earth beneath our feet,
Bless to us, O God, 

The path whereon we go,
Bless to us, O God.

The people whom we meet,
Bless to us, O God.

Celebrant:   O God, you called your servant Abraham from Ur in Chaldea, watching over him in all his wanderings, and guided the Hebrew people as they crossed the desert. Guard all your children who, for love of your Name, walk the Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path of life. Be our companion on the way, our guide at the crossroads, our strength in weariness, our defense in dangers, our shelter on the path, our shade in heat, our light in darkness, our comfort in discouragement, and the firmness of our intentions; that through your guidance, ‘we shall never cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.’ Amen. (Sources: Adaptation of The Codex Calixtinus, 12 century; quotation from T.S. Eliot’s Little Gidding)

Psalm 23 (spoken in unison)

The LORD is my shepherd; *
I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures *
and leads me beside still waters.

He revives my soul *
and guides me along right pathways for his Name’s sake.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, shall fear no evil; *
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; *
you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.

Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, *
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

The Blessing

All:   The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night (Exodus 13:21).

Celebrant:   Show me the path of life;

People:   In your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 25:3)

Celebrant:   Let us pray,

Almighty God, whose Son, Jesus Christ, said to us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life:” Bless and make this labyrinth to be a sacred path that reveals his way, his truth, and his life, that it may lead and guide us to you. In him be always near us that we may find you in this place. Through him draw us to you when we come to seek comfort and wisdom, to be supported and strengthened, to rejoice and give thanks. With him may we walk this path that we may be sanctified and made one with you and with one another.

Send your holy angels to help and defend us on life’s journey. In our earthly pilgrimage may we always be surrounded and supported by the love, prayers, and witness of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Blessed Philip, and all your saints in heaven and on earth.

All this we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

All:   The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night (Exodus 13:21).

Thanksgiving

Celebrant:   We give you thanks, O God, for the gifts of your people, and for the work of many hands, which have built Camino Sagrado/Sacred Path and beautified this space to be a place of prayer and contemplation. Accept and bless all we have done, and grant that in these earthly things we may behold the order and beauty of things heavenly; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Dismissal

Celebrant:   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. Alleluia, alleluia. Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:   Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

(The resources used in developing this form of blessing include the Book of Common Prayer, a prayer from the Iona Community, and the references identified in the text above.)

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