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Wedding rings as symbols: What does the exchange of a ring mean?

Since the beginning of time rings were exchanged during marriage ceremonies. Wedding rings, which carried an entirely different meaning in the past, are now seen as a symbol of loyalty, love and commitment in the context of a relationship. This article will provide everything you need to know about wedding rings and the meaning behind them. It also explains the customs associated with the exchange of rings.

Wedding rings as symbols - an overview of the history

In the past, only one ring was given to the bride on the day of wedding. This was to show that the woman belonged to a family or to an individual. The ring was typically used to signify that the man was the one who received the woman's inheritance. The ring was typically made of iron and was only given to the woman.

In 855, the practice of exchanging rings was reversed. Pope Nicholas I declared that the rings were an Christian symbol of eternal love, marriage and eternity. In the wedding ceremony, the future couple exchanged rings and pledged their eternal commitment and loyalty.

The wedding ring has been an essential element of marriage at least since the 13th century. Since the time of the wedding ring, it has been a symbol of love and loyalty in the wedding. Wedding rings traditionally were only exchanged at weddings in the church. The newlyweds have been putting rings on each other's hands at the registry office for a long time.

Why is the ring symbolizing marriage?

The eternal marriage is symbolized by the single ring that has its unbroken curve. The two rings that are intertwined in contrast, symbolize the strong bond between the couple who are married, that can be broken only by breaking one of the rings. The two-twined ring is frequently used as a symbol or a logo for all things related to the wedding.

Ring exchange The exchange of rings: customs and superstition

There are some customs and superstitions that are associated with the exchange of rings. Find out about the most well-known ones below.

Which hand is the ring that is worn?

The answer to this question is different from one country to the next. In Germany, the wedding ring is usually worn on the right hand. In other countries such as Italy or the USA the ring is typically worn on the left.

The ancient Romans were the first to wear wedding rings on their left hand, too as they believed that the love vein ran from the left ring to the heart. Every couple who is married will decide the location they would like to wear their wedding rings.

Wearing the identical rings

Wearing the same wedding ring is a tradition that may not be widely known. According to this custom newlyweds should wear the same rings, if they can, made of the same material, style, etc. The only thing that could differ is the size. This is a symbol of the family's agreement as well as the bond that the couple has built since the day of their wedding.

The first test for marriage is to be able to agree on the same style and design of wedding ring. This means that one's personal preferences and desires are put aside in favour of the relationship and all decisions are made in the spirit of "we".

Do not wear someone else's wedding rings

Another tradition states that wedding rings should be new and never be worn by anyone else. The belief is that wearing someone else's wedding ring can cause bad luck for the couple. It is the same when it comes to giving away wedding rings. It is said that if someone else wears the wedding ring, the bride will cheat.

The purpose of putting rings on

The act of putting the rings on is believed to reveal the future of the wedding. It is believed that if the ring slips over the woman's finger easily and easily, then the man is in control. If it remains in the middle of the ring, then the woman is in charge.

The loss of the wedding rings

Another belief is that the wedding band should never be thrown away or lost, because it could bring bad luck or even the end of the marriage.

The ring exchange is a part of religious rites

There are various ways of exchanging rings based on the religion of the person. Learn more details about it below.

Wedding rings in Christianity

In a variety of Christian church writings the two intertwined ring symbols are used to symbolize the union. The only way to break the bond was if one of the rings were broken. This symbolises "until death do us part'. The rings are blessed prior to the ceremony and then exchanged right following the ceremony. The bride and groom will be blessed.

Wedding rings in Judaism

The bride receives her so-called wedding band from her husband under the chuppah (a wedding canopy) during the traditional Jewish wedding. The custom dictates that it should be plain, with no engravings or stones. The bride is not allowed to place a ring on the chuppah that is on the wedding ring of the groom.

After the wedding, the bride will receive a ring that has been decorated by her husband. She may also present the ring as a present to her spouse.

Wedding rings in Islam

In Islam, the actual ceremony of wedding is typically quite simple. It is not unusual to have only two people marry and have two witnesses appear before the imam to announce their free wedding vows. The wedding celebrations that follow are significant to many couples and can be extended for a number of days.

Muslim couples also wear rings to signify their wedding. According to the Koran men are not allowed to wear gold. Wedding rings are more likely to be constructed of titanium, palladium, or platinum.


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