Friday, October 9, 2015

The Origin of the Wedding Ring

 With this ring I thee wed

 The tradition of exchanging wedding rings goes back many centuries, and are part of the wedding customs of many different nations and religions.

The origin of the wedding ring reaches back to prehistoric times. The groom would bind the bride’s ankles and wrists with grass to keep her soul from escaping or was it really to keep her from running away? After the ceremony he would tie the 'rope' to one of her fingers.

Ancient Egyptian brides have been depicted in hieroglyphics wearing wedding bands. To the these people living around 4800 years ago, a circle symbolized eternity. These rings were made from woven reeds, papyrus and rushed. As these didn't last very long, more durable material substituted the biodegradable materials until precious metals were used. The metal rings were far from perfect and precious stones like diamonds were added to hide the flaws. Diamonds, because of their enduring quality, also symbolize eternity and became associated with love.

In Roman times the wedding ring took on a more romantic meaning. Not only did married women
have a right to their husbands' worldly possessions, the wedding ring also served as a sign that the wife had unlocked her husband's heart. In order to symbolize this, a key was often part of the wedding ring.
To the ancients, the circle was the symbol of eternity, with no beginning or end. The hole in the center of the ring also had significance. It wasn’t just considered a space, but rather a gateway, or door; leading to things and events both known and unknown. To give a woman a ring signifies never-ending and immortal love.

Originally only women wore wedding rings as a token of possession in the sense that the married woman belonged to her husband, hence wedlock.
Traditionally men didn't wear wedding rings, but since the great wars, when the soldiers wore wedding rings as a reminder of the wife and family and home waiting for their safe return, there has been a shift until today it is the norm for men to wear them as well.

When taking into account that the wedding ring is a sign of commitment, I feel it only right that men should wear them too. Read more on this here:
 http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-12986535