Introduction to the Exchange of Rings

introduction-to-the-exchange-of-ringsThe Introduction to the Exchange of Rings of a wedding ceremony explains the symbolism and meaning behind the giving of the rings to the bride and groom.

Introduction to the Exchange of Rings 1

The ring is an ancient symbol, so perfect and simple.

It has no beginning and has no end.

It is round like the sun, like the moon, like the eye, like arms that embrace.

It is a circle; for love that is given comes back round again.

Your rings are precious because you wear them with love.

They symbolize your commitment in marriage.

They remind you of who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going.

As you wear them through time, they will reflect not only who you are as individuals, but also who you are a couple.

Introduction to the Exchange of Rings 2

These rings are made of precious metals; purified by the heat of many fires.

They are a symbol of the wealth that resides inside each of you and the purity of your love for one another.

Introduction to the Exchange of Rings 3

Though we have heard the vows, which have been shared by BRIDE and GROOM, words, once spoken, are carried away on the wind.

Therefore, the wedding ring is a visible symbol of the promises that have been made.

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The circle has frequently been used to symbolize eternity.

The ring, like the circle, is a reminder of the perfection and endurance of BRIDE and GROOM’s commitment to and love for one another.

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These rings represent the vows and promises you’ve willingly exchanged.

They reflect the commitment those words inspire and all your hopes and dreams for the future.

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Let us now have the rings brought forward and presented by the ring-bearer.

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May these rings symbolize your inherent wholeness and unity with one another, giving you the strength to happily honor your commitments to each other.

May they remind you that marriage is not a destination but a journey, with no beginning and no end, just a moment to moment opportunity to love and be loved to the best of your ability.

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Throughout human tradition, when you make a pledge, it has been deemed good to have a token to remind you of that pledge.

For this purpose you have chosen rings.

They are appropriate to the task because they are circles never ending, like the promises you make to each other today.

And they are made of precious metal, never to be tarnished, like the love you have expressed before me and these witnesses.

Please take these rings and honor each other in their giving.

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A circle is the ancient symbol of wholeness and peace.

It also represents the boundaries beyond which the special ness of a particular relationship does not extend.

In the form of a ring the circle is the accepted token of a marriage covenant.

As these rings are fashioned from one of the earth’s most precious materials, so may your love, nourished and sustained by the love of God, be the most precious and durable of the values you share.

In giving and receiving these rings, you again acknowledge that your lives remain joined in one unbroken circle, wherever you go, you will always return to your shared life together.

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The wedding ring is a symbol of married love, the precious metals show that your love is your most precious possession, and the unending circle symbolizes that your love may never cease.

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Marriage is a state in which two people come together and create a union that is greater than the sum of its parts.

It is difficult to express in words the profound relationship that is love.

Since the beginning of time, the ring has been an emblem of the sincerity and permanence of a couple’s love for one another and regard for their marriage.

As the circle can begin anew at any point, so a good marriage can pick any point to renew itself.

These rings are symbols of your eternal love.

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The ring is a symbol of the unbroken circle of love.

Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver for each is the giver and each is the receiver.

May these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken.

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I hold in my hand two beautiful rings, symbolic of a binding contract, to be given and received as bonds of never-ending love and devoted friendship, circles of life and circles of love.

May these rings be blessed as the symbol of this affectionate unity.

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Bless, O Lord, these rings to be signs of the vows by which this man and this woman have bound themselves to each other. Amen.

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What token of your devotion do you offer your beloved?

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May the Lord bless these rings which you give as your sign of love and devotion. Amen.

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Now with these rings, symbolizing the continuous circle of unity and love with the marriage relationship, and ultimately symbolizing the unity and wholeness within the Self, BRIDE and GROOM will finalize their vows.

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From the earliest of times, the circle has been a symbol of completeness, a symbol of committed love. An unbroken and never-ending circle symbolized a commitment of love that is also never ending.

As often as either of you looks at this symbol, I hope that you will be reminded of these commitments to one another, which you make today.

May these rings be blessed by God as the changeless symbol of this affectionate unity.

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The giving and receiving of rings is the most important part of a marriage ceremony, because the rings are made in the symbol of that which is eternal.

There is no beginning and no end, and as you place these symbols on each other’s finger, it signifies that there shall be no end to your marriage, and no end to the happiness that you will both share together.

But let me remind you that these are also the special symbols you will wear before the world, certainly when you go back to your family, and friends, and co-workers. In fact, you will notice the response when you walk away from this beautiful place tonight.

For when people look at you, they will look at your hand and notice the ring on your finger.

They will know that you belong to someone special and that someone special belongs to you.

Everyday for the rest of your lives, every time you wash your hands or reach out to touch each other, these rings will be there to remind you of the great love that you share and of the wonder that the person standing in front of you loves you as much as you love them.

So when you place these rings upon each other’s fingers, wear them with love and with honor.

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Wedding rings are an outward and visible sign of an inward spiritual grace and the unbroken circle of love, signifying to all the union of this man and this woman in marriage.

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These rings mark a new beginning in your journey together, filled with wonder, surprise, laughter, tears, celebration, grief and joy.

Let us pray: Bless, O god, the giving of these rings, that they who wear them may live in your peace and realized potential.

Amen.

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These rings are made of precious metal, but they are made more precious by your wearing them, for they will adorn your loving hands.

May they be a symbol of your eternal love for one another.

As you wear them, may they be a constant reminder to you of one another, and of the deep bond of faith, trust and love which they represent.

Introduction to the Exchange of Rings 23

Rings are very large in their significance.

They are made of precious metal, which symbolizes that your love is the most precious element in each other’s life.

The ring has no beginning and no ending, which symbolizes that the love between the two of you will never cease.

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May I have the rings.

Let us pray.

Bless, O Lord, the giving and receiving of these rings.

May BRIDE and GROOM abide in Thy peace and grow in their knowledge of Your presence through their loving union.

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. Amen.”

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The ring is the symbol of the commitment which binds these two together.

There are two rings because there are two people, each to make a contribution to the life of the other, and to their new life together.

Let us pray:

Bless, O Lord, the giving of these rings, that they who wear them may abide together in your peace and grow in one another’s eyes.

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Father, bless these rings which BRIDE and GROOM have set apart to be visible signs of the inward and spiritual bond which unites their hearts.

As they give and receive these rings, may they testify to the world of the covenant made between them here.”

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The circle has long been a symbol of God.

Without beginning or end and with no point of weakness, the circle is a reminder of the eternal quality of God and of unending strength.

Let the seamless circle of these rings become the symbol of your endless love.

Your wedding rings are most special because they say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bonded, to allow the presence of another human being to enhance who you are.

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At this time will you take out the rings you have for each other.

As you wear these things, they will speak to the community you live in, the people you work with, and strangers you run across.

The ring is a symbol which proclaims to the world that you share a love with another and that you are deeply connect in the bond of marriage.

We know what it means when other people see your wedding ring, but before you exchange your rings, I want you to listen to what these ring will speaks to you.

As you go from this celebration with the ring on your finger, allow it to remind you of this day.

Allow it to awaken the deep passionate feelings that are stirring in your hearts at this moment.

Let it remind you of the love that you have just professed with your vows.

But also allow it to speak of more than just symbolism.

Your ring should not only remind you of what you already feel.

Hear the ring’s plea for action.

Hear how it whispers to once again profess your love to your spouse.

Listen to its call to live out your love by doing romantic acts, thoughtful gestures, and caring deeds.

Let it be a reminder that love needs to be offered and not just felt.

When others see the ring they will know you’re married. When you see your ring and when you feel it on your hand, you should be reminded that your love needs to displayed and conveyed in action.

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At this time will you take out the rings you have for each other.

BRIDE and GROOM, you have just made promises love and devotion to each other.

These rings are symbols of the those vows you have just spoken.

Words are intangible and difficult to hold onto, so the rings becomes a vessel which will hold the words you have given to one another.

The words of “loving and cherishing,” “for better and for worse,” “honor and respecting,” are now encased in the ring. It is a physical way to hold on to the promises made to you.

When you first put on a new ring it feels unnatural. You feel the weight and you hear it clank against objects.

It’s a foreign object on your hand.

But then there is a shift that happens.

You become comfortable with the ring. It begins to mold your finger and feel comfortable until the day it just becomes a part of your hand.

The ring is no longer a piece of jewelry that you wear.

It becomes an extension of your hand.

So this ring that embodies your vows…your promises eventually becomes an extension of your hand. In other words, you become your ring….you become your vows.

At first, the ring is a symbol of the vows you have made…it contains them, but during that change when the ring begins to mold to your finger, you become the ring, because you begin to embody the vows.

Instead of the ring being only a symbol of the the promise “ to love and cherish” you become the love and you display the action of one who cherishes.

You are no longer holding onto promises of sticking around through better and worse, but you begin to live it out….You hold on…you work through.

You take on the process of honoring and respecting that you said you would.

As you place the rings on each other’s finger, the ring is a symbol, a promise, that one day…many days…many years… you will fulfill.

Introduction to the Exchange of Rings 30

At this time will you take out the rings you have for each other, for these rings will be a visible sign of the vows you have made.

The hand you place this ring on will not stay the same.

In time, wrinkles will form, calluses will come and go, and different scars may appear.

Not only will each of you change physically over time, but internally you will change as well. Your ideals, values, hopes may evolve.

Things that are important to you today may not be the same over time.

In 10, 20, 30 years you will change, but your rings, which represent your vows, will be constant.

The promises to love, cherish, and respect one another no matter what life brings or what paths you take will always be worn around your finger.

Your love will be constant as you walk together into the unknown.

Your rings and your vows will cling to your finger and hold you together no matter what may come

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The wedding ring is a symbol of eternity.

It is an outward sign of an inward and spiritual bond which unites two hearts in endless love.

And now as a token of your love and of your deep desire to be forever united in heart and soul, you GROOM, may place a ring on the finger of your bride

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The wedding ring is justly regarded as a fitting emblem of the purity and perpetuity of marriage.

It is symbolic of the circle of eternity, as it is so fashioned as to have neither beginning nor end; while gold is so incorruptible that it cannot be tarnished by use or by time.

So may this marriage, at this time celebrated, be incorruptible in its purity and more lasting than time itself.

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You’ve both chosen to wear rings as a reminder of these promises.

People often say wedding bands are a perfect circle, with no beginning and no end.

But these rings did have a beginning. The stones were formed a long time ago deep with the earth.

Eventually, a series of lucky events caused them to rise to the surface, where someone dug them up.

Metal was then liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees — molded, cooled, and painstakingly polished.

Something beautiful was made from raw elements.

Love is like that.

It comes from humble beginnings, and through a combination of serendipity and effort, imperfect beings shape it into something extraordinary.

It’s the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.

As you look at these rings over the years, I hope you remember that.

You’ve created something invaluable, and just as I know you’ll protect these rings, I’m confident you’ll protect the commitments you’ve made to one other today.

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And so we come Bride and Groom, to the presentation of rings by which you symbolize and bind your love.

The circle has long been a symbol of spirit and the power of God.

The sky and the earth are round.

The wind in its greatest power whirls.

The sun and moon, both round, come forth and go down again in a circle.

Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were.

Without beginning or end and with no point of weakness, the circle is a reminder of the eternal quality of God and of unending strength.

Let the seamless circle of these rings become the symbol of your endless love and unending faithfulness.

Your wedding rings are most special because they say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bonded, to allow the presence of another human being to enhance who you are.

Your rings carry a potent double message:

We are individuals and yet we belong; we are not alone.

As you wear them through time, they will reflect not only who you are but also the glorious union that you are now creating.

God, bless these rings and the two who exchange them.

Fill them with your Holy Presence.

Keep them safe in the circle of your protection and love.