Tag Archives: Wedding Rings

The Wedding Rings

July 2, 2018


Wedding RingsA Symbol of the Sacrament of Marriage

The Wedding Rings. In the rite for The Order of Celebrating Matrimony, the exchange of consent or wedding vows is first, followed by the blessing and giving of rings. The sacrament takes place with the exchange and reception of consent. The rings add beauty, represent fidelity, and signify the permanence of the union of the husband and wife. Wedding rings are the most common symbol of the Sacrament of Marriage in Christian artwork, and Mary and Joseph are frequently depicted exchanging them before a priest in a synagogue or the Temple.

The Ring Finger. After the thumb, the ring is worn on the third finger of the left hand. In prescientific times before advances in medical science and anatomy, it was commonly believed that there was a nerve or blood vessel that ran directly from the ring finger to the heart, the symbolic seat of love (Klein, P., Catholic Source Book, 425).

Circular Shape. A wedding ring is a circle without beginning or end. It goes around and never stops, thus represents something that is everlasting, eternal, or timeless. The roundness of the wedding ring means that the marriage covenant is a lifelong promise, unceasing, and continues unbroken and uninterrupted, for the rest of one’s life. It is a love that never ends (1 Cor 13:8a).

Hollow Interior. A wedding ring has an open center which can be interpreted to represent the inside of a pipe or a piece of conduit. As liquid flows through a pipe or electricity flows through wires inside a section of conduit, so a steady stream of love flows through the ring from one spouse to another. It is a channel for patience, kindness, humility, politeness, self-control, forgiveness, generosity, truthfulness, endurance, trust (1 Cor 13:4-7), compassion and gentleness (Col 3:12-13).

Tight fit. The ring is worn snuggly around the finger so it will remain in place and not slip off. It is so tight that is presses against the skin and bone and cannot slide over the knuckle by itself. The tightness represents that the husband and wife are bound tightly to each other. The pressing or restrictive nature of the tight fit also symbolizes chaste love, an intimate love that they share exclusively with each other and no one else.

Wedding Chasuble with interlocking wedding ringsInterlocking rings. One of the most common symbols of the Sacrament of Marriage is a pair of rings that are linked together with one ring intertwined with the other. It serves as a sign that the husband and wife are inseparably joined. Sometimes a cross is placed between the rings which signifies that Jesus is the center and binding force of a Christian marriage, and that they will carry their crosses together. Occasionally two whites candles are also added, one within each ring, which represent their baptismal faith which will serve as the foundation of their marriage. It also indicates their intention to complete their Sacraments of Initiation with marriage, a Sacrament of Commitment, and how their joint membership in the Body of Christ will serve as a powerful unifying force in their life together.

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