Ring (in Matrimony)
Ring (In Matrimony).
Originally the gift of the ring was made at the time of espousal, and not at the solemnization of marriage. Calroer (Ritual. Eccles.) traces the origin of the marriage ring to the 10th century. He supposes it to have been introduced in imitation of the ring worn by bishops, and to have been regarded as a kind of phylactery, or charm. According to Rome, the delivery of the ring by the husband to the wife indicated that she was admitted into his confidence. Another explanation is that the ring symbolizes eternity and constancy; and it has been alleged that the left hand was chosen to denote the wife's subjection to her husband, and the third finger because it thereby pressed a vein which was supposed to communicate directly with the heart (Riddle, Christ. Antig. 7, 1; Chambers's Encyclop. s.v.). SEE RING (in Espousals).