Wedding rings are so much more than jewelry. The wedding band is an ancient symbol of eternity, love, strength and commitment that’s grown in significance with the passage of time. It’s not just a supporting player for the engagement ring—it’s a daily reminder of promises made before God on your wedding day.
Wedding bands have been a symbol of eternity and love for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, the circle symbolized eternity because it has no beginning or end, and rings woven from plants that grew along the banks of the Nile River were given as expressions of love. Wedding bands have been worn on the third finger of the left hand since the time of the Egyptians, because they believed that the vein in this finger ran directly to the heart. The Greeks, and later the Romans, adopted this belief.
The Romans seem to be the first to use the wedding band to signify commitment and the iron commonly used to craft it was a symbol of strength. Christians living in the Roman Empire began to follow this custom, and records of gold rings being used in the Christian wedding ceremony date back as far as the 4th Century.
Dual ring ceremonies, in which both the bride and the groom give and receive rings, can be traced back to the 13th Century Greek Orthodox Church. However, wedding bands for men didn’t become popular until World War II, when men began wearing these rings as symbols of their commitment to their wives back home.
The circular shape that’s been a symbol for millennia continues to infuse today’s wedding bands with meaning. These rings are seamless and unending, making them a picture of unbroken, unending love and faithfulness. The precious metals used to make them represents your most precious resources, and by giving a ring made of such materials to another person, you paint a picture of giving them your best.
Rings are exchanged as part of the modern Christian wedding ceremony to symbolize the covenant made between the bride and the groom. A covenant isn’t just a casual statement of intent—it’s a binding pledge. In biblical times, the two parties making a covenant would exchange belts or other articles of clothing to symbolize their commitment to the terms of the covenant. In the same way, brides and grooms exchange rings to symbolize their commitment to their wedding vows.
One traditional blessing sums up the significance of the wedding band: “Bless, O Lord, the giving and receiving of these rings … May the seamless circle of these rings become the symbol of their endless love and serve to remind them of the holy covenant they have entered into today to be faithful, loving, and kind to each other. Dear God, may they live in Your grace and be forever true to this union.”
The wedding band is not only a symbol of eternity, love and commitment. It’s also a daily reminder of the covenant promises made before God to love, honor and be faithful to one another for as long as you’re both alive.