Labyrinth Ceremony

Bless your path together by beginning your journey on this ancient sacred path!

On the island of Maui, in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, there are a plethora of ways to get married-from quaint little churches to ceremonies above, below or beside the sea, from bikini clad to formal attire. Thousands of couples come to Hawaii each year to share their vows, ever seeking ways to make their celebration special, memorable and often unique.

Rev. Eve Hogan, inspirational speaker and author of “The Way of the Winding Path,” has ntroduced to the islands a unique and sacred means of getting married or renewing vows that is rich with spiritual symbolism: labyrinth weddings.

The labyrinth is not to be confused with a maze. While mazes are designed to trick you with dead ends and false paths, the labyrinth has only one path leading into the center and the same path leads back out. The labyrinth used for weddings is a replica of the one that is tiled into the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France, which dates back to 1220AD and was used as a walking meditation, metaphorical of taking a pilgrimage. At a time when the Crusades made journeying to sacred destinations dangerous, if not impossible, would-be pilgrims got creative and designed this beautiful path of prayer within the safety of the church. There they could still take their own personal spiritual journey, but not have to risk their lives in the process. Just like a pilgrimage, the labyrinth offers a three-fold path; the walk into the labyrinth, the center-which represents the sacred destination, and the return journey back home.

The symbolism of the labyrinth lends itself perfectly to weddings and vow renewals. The bride and groom enter the labyrinth separately as the walk in represents a time for self-reflection, clearing any obstacles that lie before them and letting go of the past. The walk into the center, which takes approximately seven minutes, allows them an opportunity to prepare for the sacred ceremony by walking off any nervousness and becoming fully present. The center of the labyrinth is where pilgrims go to receive guidance and insight and it is here that the bride and groom receive each other. In this sacred destination, the heart of the labyrinth, they are joined by Rev. Eve and exchange their vows. After the blessings of the center are received, the couple makes their way back out of the labyrinth, arm-in-arm. The return walk out represents union with God and is a time for transition. Here the bride and groom begin their journey together as husband and wife.

Many couples choosing to get married in Hawaii face the dilemma of whether to honor their spiritual beliefs by getting married in a church, or to take advantage of the tremendous natural beauty the islands have to offer by getting married outside. Since the labyrinth is portable and has its roots in the church, it offers couples a unique way to take a piece of the church outside-a big piece! The canvas labyrinth measures 36′ in diameter and is a beautiful foundation upon which to build a marriage.

Eve is the only wedding officiant on Maui who performs labyrinth weddings. The symbolism of the labyrinth lends itself beautifully to the marriage ceremony. Metaphorical of a pilgrimage to a sacred place, the journey into the center is a time for letting go of the past and preparation for what is to come.

The bride and groom walk into the labyrinth individually, affording them time to become self-observant, to release any past obstacles that may be in their way and to become fully present by the time they reach the sacred space of the labyrinth’s center.

Met there by Eve, the center represents the sacred ground of the heart. Here, the ceremony takes place as the two join their lives through the ritual celebration of vows.

Once the ceremony is complete, the couple join hands and either follow the same path back out or together create a new path that spirals them back out of the labyrinth. This part of the experience represents the Union, where they emerge from the labyrinth, beginning a new aspect of their journey together as husband and wife. They carry with them the blessings of the Divine to guide them on their way.

Labyrinth Weddings include the Officiant, Decorative Certificate, use of the canvas Labyrinth or permanent labyrinth, and location. Price varies depending on which labyrinth and property you choose. Labyrinth weddings at The Sacred Garden (or other permanent labyrinths is $350-$450). Eve’s 36′ portable canvas labyrinth can be set up at the location of your choice, including most resorts. Prices using the portable labyrinth vary depending on the location costs.

Sample Labyrinth Wedding Ceremony (Substitute your name for “bride” and “groom.”)

May the journey begin…(Bride and Groom walk separately into the labyrinth)

Before entering the Labyrinth:

(Bride) and (Groom), may this ___ day of _______, in the year 2012, be a moment in time to be remembered and cherished. Today, we celebrate your love.

There is significance to getting married on the labyrinth. It is an ancient symbol, as is marriage, and in walking it today, we honor all of those who have walked ahead of us and all those that are yet to enter.

The labyrinth represents the sacred journey, a pilgrimage of devotion-which, of course, marriage is also.
The labyrinth offers an arena for letting go of the past as you walk in,
embracing the present and each other as you meet in the center and

boldly venturing into the future, together-body, mind and spirit-in union with God as you walk back out.
The very process of walking the labyrinth is that of engagement in life, the making of one’s commitment to God and today, the choice to walk your path together from this day forward.

The labyrinth walk is a three-fold journey.
The walk into the labyrinth is a time of preparation.
You will walk into the labyrinth individually, emphasizing the knowledge that while you are on this path together, you are each individuals as well. As you walk into the labyrinth, as in life, you will find that there are times when you are walking close together going the same direction. Other times you may find that you are far apart, seemingly on different paths, going different ways. Remember that you are on the same path. Trust the labyrinth, trust life, and trust in God that the path will once again deliver you to each other.

May the journey begin…(Bride and Groom walk separately into the labyrinth)

In the Center:

We stand in the heart of the sacred circle.
The labyrinth is divided into five parts –
the four quarters and the sacred center.
The four directions are honored here, North, East, South and West,
offering you blessings no matter where you go.
The four seasons are honored here, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall
offering you blessings all year round.
The four elements are honored here, Earth, Air, Water and Fire blessing you with the ground that we stand on, the air that we breath, the ocean before us and the fire that burns brightly in the setting sun.
The center, the heart, honors Spirit in the form of love that flows in abundance between you, within you and all around you.

Aloha ika ho’o manawanui, Aloha ika loko maika’i, Aloha ike kahi, ike kahi
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love begets love.

(Groom) and (Bride), you are here today to declare and to strengthen your love, and to pledge to each other the beginning of a new life together.

(Groom), do you receive (Bride) as your wedded wife to love, comfort, respect, and to share your life with from this day forward?

And, (Bride), do you receive (Groom) as your wedded husband to love, comfort, respect, and to share your life with from this day forward?

We will now seal this promise of marriage with these wedding rings. These rings are symbols of the unbroken unity of love, now to be continued in your married life. The circle has no beginning and no end, it is eternal and everlasting. We stand now, on the circle of the labyrinth, which sits on the circle of this planet and offer a ring, a circle, as a symbol of the love and commitment that the two of you share, as the circle of the sun shines upon you, blessing this sacred event.
Made in the form of the circle, this ring represents the truth of the law of life:
‘As we give to each other, we receive from each other.’

As you place the ring on your beloved’s hand and (Bride), as you receive the ring from the hand of your beloved, remember that this will be the first hand extended to pick you up when you have fallen down and it will be the first hand raised to toast all of your joys and all of your successes from this day forward and forevermore.

Bless this ring, bless (Groom) who gives it and (Bride) who receives it. Bless their union with patience, understanding and eternal joy.

With this ring, I marry you,
and promise my faithful love.
I have chosen you above all others
for my partner and companion.
I shall love you,
and honor you,
and share with you life’s joys and life’s difficulties.
In sorrow, I shall comfort you,
In times of need, I shall be there for you,
In good times, I shall rejoice with you,
From this day forward and forevermore.

Bless this ring, bless (Bride) who gives it and (Groom) who receives it. Bless their union with kindness, friendship and unconditional love.

With this ring, I marry you,
and commit my faithful love.
I have chosen you above all others
for my partner and companion.
I shall love you,
and honor you,
and share with you life’s joys and life’s difficulties.
In sorrow, I shall comfort you,
In times of need, I shall be there for you,
In good times, I shall rejoice with you,
From this day forward and forevermore.

May you, (Groom) and (Bride), remain true to this winding path, no matter which way it turns, knowing that you have chosen to walk it together. May you always come back to the center of the circle where you stand now, together. in love.

May we all pause in prayer and bless this marriage:
Dear Lord, May (Groom) and (Bride)’s pathway of happiness be recognized through the light of love, causing their lives to unfold in harmony, abundance, health and self-satisfaction. May their home always radiate an environment of happiness and unity. And whoever enters their home, may they be blessed and inspired by the harmony and love that dwells there. May they realize that true marriage is a symbol of infinite oneness that will enable them to live joyfully together, and to perform and keep the covenant and vows made now so sincerely between them. Divine Spirit, we leave this marriage in your hands.

By the power vested in me by the State of Hawaii, I now pronounce you husband and wife!

Those whom Spirit has joined together let no one separate.
You may seal this blessing with a holy kiss!

May the blessings of God rest upon you
May God’s peace abide in you
May God’s presence illuminate your hearts
Now and forevermore.

May your love grow and bring you peace and joy on life’s path. From each other, may you always find communication, compassion, tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness. And, to each other, may you always be best friends, companions, lovers, partners, and teachers.

Now, go forth as husband and wife through the labyrinth of life, strengthened in your love, and know that your union is blessed.

For more information or scheduling call 808-243-PATH (7284)