Preparing To Visit Chartres

Suggested practices that may help you prepare for your pilgrimage:

  1. Write in a pilgrimage  journal:
    Start today! Commit to making at least a short entry in a pilgrimage journal most days between now and when you come to Chartres. Write about why you are making the pilgrimage. Write about your hopes. Make notes about what you are learning about the cathedral. Write out your prayers. List your dreams for your time in Chartres. Keep writing your way towards being in Chartres, even if you don’t write for a time; start again.
  2. Use a labyrinth:
    Use a finger labyrinth (wooden, paper, or other–it doesn’t matter) and/or a physical labyrinth (find one near you) as many days as possible to pray for yourself and your journey to Chartres. Add at least one sentence about your walk in your journal after each labyrinth experience.
  3. Compose a one-sentence reply to the question, “Why am I being drawn to Chartres?” Review it periodically and keep refining or changing it as needed. This is to help you gain clarity for yourself.
  4. Compose another one-sentence reply to the question, “Why are you going to Chartres?” that will help those who are interested understand some of what this journey means to you.
  5. Prepare visually. Find a beautiful book with photographs of the cathedral. Below are two of my favorites.
    The World of Chartres. Jean Favier. New York, Harry N Abrams, Inc. (1988)
    Chartres. La grâce d’une cathédrale. Strasbourg: La Nuée Bleu. (2013)
  6. Use the exercises, suggestions, and or journaling prompts in Praying the Chartres Labyrinth: A Pilgrim’s Guidebook (Pilgrim: 1999) and/or Praying the Labyrinth: A Journal for Spiritual Exploration (Pilgrim:2006).
Medieval pilgrimage medal (replica) for the Chartres Cathedral by Jill K H Geoffrion

Pilgrimage medal for Chartres on a stained glass window of a Chartres-style labyrinth