What is the meaning of a ring’s shape and composition?
The wedding ring is the last present a couple will give one another before their wedding. The very first present a couple gives each other is often times a sort of promise ring – which most think of a pre-engagement ring. Later on as a duet gets more involved, they then give engagement rings to each other.
Most couples cherish the instant when they slip a ring on their beloved. They gaze with enchantment in their eyes during that instant when the ring is put on their finger and they understand that they will be together from then on. What almost all don’t imagine is that this has been taking place for years and revolves around the giving of wedding rings. The implication and symbolization behind wedding bands is rich and as complicated as its own love story. It should be told so that couples understand exactly why they exchange wedding rings.
This wedding ring is an emblem and throughout time has symbolized love, devotion and even an agreement between families. The physical structure of the wedding ring has changed as different civilizations have changed it to look more and more beautiful. Some materials are more dear like precious metals and are considered to be of greater value – hence might mean more. However the meaning behind the symbol has stayed the same throughout time and over continents. “I love you” “I wish to be with you forever” and “You are mine.”
A ring in its simplest form is a circle, which means ‘forever.’ What more could couples need than the unclouded wish to spend all time together? Many couples opt to have a romantic phrase engraved within their wedding rings. This makes that traditional symbolism even more important for each couple.
Symbols exist throughout our culture. Even the materials the wedding ring is created out of appear to be symbols of love and devotion. A great deal of couples select diamonds on their wedding rings; diamonds are literally indestructibleand are the “forever” stone you want to select to epitomize your love. Rubies are another choice representing love, keenness and grandeur. While the wedding ring itself is seen as invaluable, the metaphor of the wedding ring symbolizes that your betrothed is precious to you.
The wedding ring was adorned in past times like it is presently, on the left hand, third finger. The reason being because of the strong-held belief that the vein in this finger moves at once from the heart. This notion was endorsed as ladies commenced wearing their wedding rings closer to their hand and then their engagement ring on that same hand – affirming this notion of it being so close to your heart.
Wedding rings have been worn in many cultures. While the traditions may be slightly different, the sentiment and meaning to love, treasure and honor one another forever, remains much the same.
The Wedding Ring, Its History and Meaning
The circle has always had significance from ancient cultures to the present as a symbol of wholeness and perfection. Its endlessness is the perfect symbol of oneness and unity – no beginning, no end. It is also the symbol of the sun, earth and universe, and represents holiness, perfection and peace.
Early on, the caveman bound himself to his mate with a cord of woven rushes as a symbol that their spirits were one.
Ancient European Northerns believed that a lover’s knot was a symbol of love, faith, and friendship. The knot was formed out of the hair of the beloved, woven into a knot that was then worn as a ring.
The significance of the wedding ring was defined in the 7th century by the bishop Isidore of Seville (c. 560-636):
“It was given by the spouser to the espoused whether for a sign of mutual fidelity or still more to join their hearts to this pledge and that therefore the ring is placed on the fourth finger because a certain vein is said to flow from thence to the heart.”
The ring came into use in Christian ceremonies about 870, authorities state, and was in use in biblical times by the Hebrews. Rings date back several millennia, but ones given as tokens of love were first documented by the comic Roman poet Plautus in the 2nd century BC. Wedding rings are known because of interior inscriptions recording the marriage contracts signed in the presence of the Emperor’s image.
The habit of wearing the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand is based upon a Grecian fable that the artery from that finger flows directly to the heart.
The wedding ring was also used as a symbol in Egyptian culture. The wedding band is mentioned in the hieroglyphics on walls of tombs interpreted by archeologists. Egyptian bands are usually heavy metal, encrusted with precious or semi-precious stones. In contrast, the average Roman citizen is reputed to have found “ugly metal bands” to suffice.
In the 12th century Pope Innocent the Third ordained that marriages must be celebrated in the church, and that the ceremony must include a marriage ring. In Persia, it was customary for a bridegroom to give a ring to everyone who attended the wedding ceremony. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert gave out six dozen rings, each engraved with the queen’s profile, at their wedding ceremony. (Queen Victoria’s engagement ring was in the form of a serpent – believed to be a symbol of good luck.)
With the outbreak of World War II, the double ring ceremony increased to 6O %. With the Korean war the number rose to 70 %.