Our Sanctuary Symbolism
The building committees of St. Paul included a lot of symbolism in the design of the church. Symbolism becomes meaningless art or decorations when its meaning is lost. Therefore a review of the meaning of various items in the church is given here.
The cross in the front and center is symbolic of the actual cross Jesus died on close to two thousand years ago. It reminds us of the seriousness of sin, that Jesus paid the price for our sins, and of God’s love and forgiveness.
Jesus is the light of the world. The candles on the wall near the cross and the order they are lit before / extinguished after the service are a reminder of this teaching. Before the service the candles on each side are lit with the highest one first and the lowest one last. This shows light coming from the cross, which in this context is symbolizing Jesus. After the service candles are extinguished in reverse order symbolizing prayers going up to God.
The reason there are three candles on the side of the cross is to offer a reminder that God is three in one: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The six total candles on the wall (three on each side) are the result of the designers using symmetry to make the display visually appealing.
The dual candles on the Altar symbolize that Jesus was fully and completely human and fully and completely divine. They are only lit for services when Holy Communion is celebrated.
The color of the cloth on the Altar, Pastor’s stoles, and often the colors of the banners reflect the current season of the church year.
The tall decorated candle on the far right represents Christ. It is lit during Easter and when a Baptism is performed.
The Christian flag is displayed to the right in our sanctuary
The ceiling’s shape resembles the hull of a boat. This is to remind us that we are just passing through this life, being in heaven with Jesus is our destination and home.