There is a centuries-old tradition — particularly in the churches of Great Britain and New England-- to paint church doors red. There are many possible reasons. Red symbolizes the Blood of Christ, through which we enter into the Church. Red also signifies the tongues of fire at Pentecost, a sign that the Holy Spirit is within the doors. Red doors also recall the sprinkling of the door lintels of the Israelites with the blood of lambs on the night of Passover. Beginning in the Middle Ages, red doors indicated a place of sanctuary which offered physical safety from outside evils.
Our parish’s former artist-in-residence, Joe Malham of Trinity Icons, chose the shade of red from the palette of Augustus Pugin, the master of 19th Century Gothic Revival design.
Cardinal Mundelein, in designing St Thomas of Canterbury Church, based it on a Connecticut Meeting House to reference the New England roots of American Christianity. By painting the doors red, we honor Cardinal Mundelein’s inspiration.