Where do wedding rings come from
As one of the leading experts in handmade wedding rings, we know something t two about weeding rings. The below article will talk about the origin of them.
The earliest ceremonies involving rings, hearkening back from ancient Greece and Rome, were very different than the ring ceremonies of today. In that era, the rings were usually part of a dowry, and formed part of formal betrothal. In fact, those rings were less ornamental and noted more for their physical value. The ring as a pledge itself comes from ancient Roman custom, and the “giving of the ring” to the bride as a pledge of fidelity during the betrothal (known as the “sponsalia”) before the taking of the bride to the groom’s home.
The exchange of rings, which comprises part of almost every modern wedding service in the West, has its origin in the varied rituals of a flourishing Christian Europe. Here one can see that the late Roman custom of the ring as a pledge carried over into the use of the early Church: Both wedding ceremonies (where rings were exchanged) and consecration ceremonies (where bishops were considered “married” to the Church) explicitly retain the concept of the ring as related to the pledge of fidelity inherited from ancient Roman times.
The earliest surviving ceremonies involving exchanges of wedding rings can be found in various liturgical books used throughout Europe in the early middle Ages. The ceremonies during this period, however, were not wedding ceremonies but betrothals, marking the period of engagement. The betrothal ceremony varied from country to country throughout Europe, but certain features were common to the service, most noticeably the presence of rings among the betrothal “payment”, alongside 13 gold or silver coins (“arrae” in Latin). By the 1100’s, rings given during a betrothal service was fairly standard in both Eastern and Western Europe.
Wedding Rings Became Part Of The Modern Word
Of course, this leads to the question of where wedding rings became part of the modern marriage service. While many erudite sources hypothesized that this change occurred due to the confusion of the German “morning gifts” after the wedding ceremony with the giving of the rings, the most obvious answer is the most practical: over the years, throughout Europe, the giving of the rings and betrothal became more personal family affairs as opposed to ecclesiastical ceremonies throughout Europe. In response, churches in each region combined the betrothal and the marriage into a single service, which was largely codified by the Tridentine Reform, though the older, distinct ceremonies remained in many regions of the West as well as Eastern Europe, which continued using the ring as a pledge of fidelity during the betrothal.
As centuries passed, however, the fusion of the betrothal and wedding into a single service was ultimately inevitable throughout Europe, and the betrothal as a separate service is rarely done today. Because of the eventual fusion of the two services, wedding rings were often a single set of rings. However, popular custom persisted, and the rings meant to signify betrothal were still bought informally, necessitating two different rings, or sets of rings. (In Sweden, however, it became custom to add a third ring to commemorate the bride’s first child and entrance into motherhood as well.) From here it’s fairly evident where the rich European history of the wedding ring began– wedding rings were originally engagement rings, and engagement rings eventually took on a life of their own.