Author Topic: wedding rings  (Read 2842 times)

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Offline Bitter Sweet

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wedding rings
« on: Thu Sep 15, 2011 - 17:34:05 »
Why do Orthodox wear their wedding rings on right hand instead of left?

Offline CDHealy

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Re: wedding rings
« Reply #1 on: Thu Sep 15, 2011 - 18:36:52 »
Tradition.

See also: http://www.antiochian.org/1286

Offline Bitter Sweet

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Re: wedding rings
« Reply #2 on: Fri Sep 16, 2011 - 05:04:27 »
Thanks CD, I should have just googled it myself... ::lookaround::

So the left hand is based on superstition, I never knew that.

Offline LightHammer

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Re: wedding rings
« Reply #3 on: Fri Sep 16, 2011 - 10:18:12 »
Thanks CD, I should have just googled it myself... ::lookaround::

So the left hand is based on superstition, I never knew that.

I read the article too and I question the accuracy, or better yet, the reasoning behind the East labeling the West's belief that a vein in the left ring finger extended to the heart as a "superstition". Could you maybe help me out CDHealy by maybe citing how that is a "superstition" because the article does not go into detail.

I did read the scriptures which support rings on the right ring finger, albeit those were rings of honor and not matrimony. I wonder if the Orthodox actually built support for right ring fingers from Sacred Scripture before the practice was already in place or after.

I know in India the left hand inappropriate and thus the right finger is used by them. I wonder if this predates the Christian practice of rings. I also wonder whether or not this ethnic custom made its way into Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: Fri Sep 16, 2011 - 19:18:54 by LightHammer »

Offline Bitter Sweet

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Re: wedding rings
« Reply #4 on: Sat Sep 17, 2011 - 03:56:39 »
I did a little more research and there is supposedly an artery that leads to the heart on the left side but I think that's the middle finger. The heart is on the left side too.

I've noticed that most women in countries other than North America wear wedding ring on right so it may not be entirely Orthodox. I wear mine on right in USA but all the Orthodox I know in USA switch it to left after the wedding day.

Offline Joel, the Son of Pethuel

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Re: wedding rings
« Reply #5 on: Mon Sep 19, 2011 - 08:53:47 »
Technically, the Orthodox don't have "wedding" rings. Rather, we have two separate ceremonies: we have a betrothal ceremony in which rings are exchanged, and a "crowning" ceremony in which the couple is actually married (in part of the ceremony the couple wears wedding "crowns", symbolizing the martyr's crown, as we are dying to ourselves for the sake of the other).

In yesteryear, it was more common for a couple to agree to marry and then have a betrothal ceremony right afterwards. At that point rings were exchanged, as the two were pledged to each other. Once everything was planned and the two were ready to marry, then they'd have the crowning ceremony, by which they were married. After a while people began delaying the betrothal ceremony until immediately before the crowning ceremony. Once two people were betrothed, it was as if they were "married without the benefits". If one of them backed out before the wedding, it was as if they were divorcing. If one person died before the wedding, the other person was considered to be widowed. Putting the two ceremonies back to back ensured that that wouldn't happen to someone.

The East still retains the distinction of the two ceremonies, and there are people who still choose to have them separated. My wife and I had our betrothal ceremony after we got engaged, and wore our rings throughout our engagement/betrothal. We know of some other couples who have chosen to do the same thing. The West, however, has lost that distinction, and the wedding and betrothal ceremonies are one ceremony.

Thus, Orthodox "wedding" rings aren't actually "wedding" rings at all, but are actually the engagement rings.

Here's the Orthodox betrothal service: http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/betrothal. Our use of the right hand is not a reaction to the left hand. Rather, for us, it's just always been the right hand, as the right hand is a symbol of one's strength and power. The only mention of the right hand in the betrothal service (or rather, of putting a ring on the right hand) is in the second-to-last paragraph where it cites the parable of the Prodigal Son.

Online DaveW

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Re: wedding rings
« Reply #6 on: Sat May 26, 2012 - 22:46:02 »
Jews also have a betrothal service, but it often is the opening part of the wedding ceremony. Jews typically wear wedding rings on the right index finger,

Offline flower

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Re: wedding rings
« Reply #7 on: Fri Sep 18, 2015 - 16:52:00 »
I think the ring on which hand is not the most important, it is important that the love between husband and wife。