vernment was more rigorous in discipline than is now the case, the porch was the appointed place for those who were under censure. Those also who were unbaptised, or who had not yet received the sacrament of regeneration, were not allowed beyond the porch, not quite excluded from the church and yet not permitted to enter fully. The porch also served as a path of admission for all Christians into the body of the church, so that they passed through the assembly of penitents and catechumens, who were wont to ask the prayers of the more highly privileged for their full restoration or admission to the communion of the faithful.
With reference to our Lord's word, "I am the Door," we frequently find the tympana of church doors, particularly those of Norman date, adorned with representations of events from his life, but they often also depict the monsters, dragons and devils, that formed so strong an article in the faith of the early Christians.
A more detailed account of these tympana will be found in