We are all walking towards death. As I move on the labyrinth in Chartres, this tender image of Mary dying while surrounded by the grief-struck disciples reminds me that as natural as loss is, it hurts.
God, may I never be afraid to express the feelings that I am experiencing. Whether happy or sad, may my emotions be a bridge to You.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance… Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NRSV)
Invitation to prayer
What are you feeling? Try to amplify or exaggerate that emotion. What prayers are emerging in your heart, mind, body, and imagination? Pray them now.
Photo and placement of this image in relationship to the labyrinth
Mary on her death-bed surrounded by the twelve disciples. On each side of the scene are two women crying and wiping their tears. This thirteenth century window (1205-1215) is found in the south aisle. It is the fourth window from the west wall, the window farthest to the left in the photograph below.
Related Posts: Other Images of Mary Visible from the Labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral
To the east of the labyrinth:
The apsidal image of Mary as a throne for Jesus who is sitting on her lap blessing on the top of the East central window (above the choir).
The Annunciation of Jesus’ birth to Mary in the East central window (above the choir).
The Visitation of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth in the East central window (above the choir).
To the west of the labyrinth:
Mary in the Tree of Jesse (Ancestors of Jesus). Twelfth century window (1140-1150) on the north side of the west wall.
The Annunciation in The Life of Christ Window. Twelfth century window (1145-1155), the central window on the west wall.
The Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth in the Life of Christ Window.
The Nativity: Mary, Jesus and Joseph in the Life of Christ Window.
The Kings Visit Jesus and Mary in the life of Christ Window.
The Flight Into Egypt: Mary, Jesus and Joseph in the Life of Christ Window
The Return from Egypt: The Holy Family in the Life of Christ Window
Jesus blessing while sitting on Mary’s Lap in the Life of Christ Window
Mary standing below the cross of Jesus in the Passion and Resurrection Window (1145-1155), on the south side of the west wall.
Mary holding Jesus’ hands as his body is taken off the cross in the Passion and Resurrection Window.
Mary watching the anointing and entombment of Jesus in the Passion and Resurrection Window.
To the south of the labyrinth:
Nursing Mary and Jesus in a clerestory window (1205-1215) above the labyrinth.
Mary holding Jesus, a sculpture on the fifteenth century organ above the south nave.
The symbolic “shirt of Mary” on the Bishop’s pulpit (south side of the nave) above the labyrinth.
The flight from Israel to Egypt in the St. John window in the south aisle.