Meaning of Wedding Rings Biblically
Wedding rings are one of the most symbolic and emotionally charged elements when celebrating a wedding. However, even though they are so important and well known, not everyone knows what is the real meaning and why they are used. That is why below you will learn the meaning of wedding rings biblically.
Before talking about the meaning of wedding rings biblically, it is good to talk about what wedding rings or wedding bands are. They are pieces of jewelry that are used in a wedding celebration with the motive of symbolizing the union that is taking place.
Tradition states that a couple will place the ring on the left ring finger of the other person. This occurs during the wedding ceremony or, as it is commonly known, during the wedding. The ring has a very important conceptual charge that is mainly related to the alliance that takes place.
The composition of the rings is quite different from that of a common ring. To begin with, the material most commonly used for these is gold, although you can also use platinum and silver, but these materials are not used as much as the first one. Their surface is smooth and do not usually have stones or decorative motifs, on the contrary, always seek comfort because after the wedding couples tend to use them regularly in their day to day.
History of Wedding Rings.
The tradition of giving wedding rings is typical of the West and its culture. Therefore it is not strange to find its genesis in the empire of Ancient Rome, site that after Greece sowed the foundations of Western culture.
In this place it was already very common the use of rings, however, these did not have a decorative purpose. On the contrary, they had a very practical use: the rings were used to seal letters.
It is not possible to determine with historical accuracy when the Romans began to give each other rings to seal their marital unions. However, it is clear in the words of Clement Alexandrinus that it was customary to give a ring to the woman to seal the things of the house.
This is how the use of the ring as a promise of marriage was born. Of course, the Romans being a society that would later be intimately related to the emergence of Christianity, it is normal that the latter adopted many of its traditions. One of them was precisely the use of wedding rings symbolizing the union of the two hearts that were getting engaged.
It is curious that in its beginnings the material of the rings was iron, a metal that at the time of Pliny the Elder, was much more common and easily accessible than precious metals. This also lacked stones to adorn them and they were much more expensive. However, by the Middle Ages there are records of the use of metals such as gold in their construction.
Meaning of wedding rings biblically
Lets know more about the meaning of wedding rings biblically. Rings also appear in the Bible. In the holy book of the Christian tradition, they symbolize power, authority and dignity for their wearers. This is shown in Genesis 41:42 when it is mentioned that:
“When Pharaoh summons Joseph, who was a prisoner, to interpret his dream about the 7 years of plenty and 7 years of scarcity that Egypt was to suffer, Pharaoh in choosing Joseph as a wise man to manage Egypt during those years, symbolized it by clothing him in linen, putting a gold necklace on him and giving him his own ring, whereby Joseph became the Governor of Egypt.”
But this is not the only time rings are mentioned in the bible. However, no longer to symbolize power, but rather to seal agreements. Thus we find other moments such as in Luke 15:22:
“And the father said to his servants, at the return of the prodigal son, Quickly! Bring the best clothes and dress him, put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet.”
Although these are examples of the mention of rings in the bible, it is important to clarify that the bible never mentions their use as a necessary element to contract the marriage union. In none of its books, either the New or Old Testament, is there any mention of this fact.
However, due to the intrinsic relationship that the Christian religion has with what was the Roman Empire, it ended up embracing many of its customs.
Although exact dates cannot be established, it is believed that by the year 70 A.D. there are already records of the ring and relationships in Rome. Thus, although these beginnings were not related to the couple itself, they did have a symbolic charge in terms of commitment. This is because the groom had to give an iron ring to the father of the bride until the union was a fact.
For their part, Christians adopted Roman customs, but never exactly. In the second century they used the ring to consecrate a marriage union. In these early years, the material used to make the ring was not iron but copper.
For Christians, the ring was a symbol of the marriage covenant, so it did not seek to be showy and elegant. On the contrary, it was only limited to demonstrate the union and love between a man and a woman. Is really interesting all about the meaning of wedding rings biblically.
The symbolism of the ring and marriage
The ring itself could be considered as a piece of jewelry or a decorative element. However, its symbolism is what keeps all the conceptual charge in the marriage alliance. This is how it becomes a clear sign of love towards the other person.
But it is also a clear sign of respect, trust and union before the act that is being celebrated. All these elements converge in a fundamental value for the Christian union: fidelity. The ring itself symbolizes being faithful to the partner who, from then on, will begin a contractual relationship with oneself.
Tradition usually enshrines the fact that the engagement ring is worn on the index finger of the left hand. Hand in hand with the conceptual charge of the ring, this position is also very important because it also symbolizes something.
As often attributed to St. Isidore (the Greeks thought so too), the index finger of the left hand is believed to possess a vein that goes directly to the heart. Of course, the heart has always been an organ linked to emotions, feelings and love. That is why everything is related.
To conclude, although the use of the wedding ring is not stipulated textually in the bible, it has been embraced by the Christian tradition and accepted as part of their marriage ceremonies. That is why today it is impossible to see a Catholic wedding, performed in a church and sponsored by a priest, without the use of wedding rings. I hope the information about the meaning of wedding rings biblically could be helpful for you.
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Hello! I’m Jorge Jarquin …
And I am a professional photographer! I could say that I love watching. The way I photograph is in a very intimate, personal and very authentic way. I am in the constant search to maintain the essence of the feelings and beauty of the wedding day in each image. Each wedding is different, unique and that is why they have a different magic that I love to capture.
For me, wedding photography means creating memories through images that are meaningful to you, beyond just being pretty. It’s what you feel when you see the photos ten years from now and that your skin will turn up again when you see that kiss at the ceremony.