Close up studio portrait of mid adult businessman touching his wedding ringTo what extent can wedding tradition be meddled with? How far from the norm can we deviate or set ours? I’m sure you will relate better after this event that happened at one of the biggest churches in Nigeria, during their wedding counselling session.

After the normal individual class, all the intending couples all came into an auditorium for a general session and also for a session of question and answer, it was during one of such question and answer session that a brother, who I presume to be very spiritual asked a question, one you probably will never expect.

He asked, “Since Christ is sitted at the right hand of God, why then do we put the wedding ring on a finger on our left hand, instead of the right?

I bet anyone and everyone on hearing that question will turn around to catch a view of the source this bizarre and somewhat unexpected question came from.

Why do we put the ring on the fourth finger on our left hand?

  • First, the wedding band, which is a symbol of eternal love as the wedding band is seamless, one without a joint, beginning or an ending (a post on that soon), an emblem, given by one partner to the other is worn on the left hand and fourth finger because thousands of years ago there was a belief among the Greeks and Romans that this particular finger is believed to be a route of a vein that comes straight from the heart. This vein was given the name ‘vena amoris’ meaning vein of love. So it was assumed that which other finger is worth placing a symbol and pledge of eternal love than one that has a direct connection with the heart. Reasonable right?

But with the advancement on science and medicine, it was discovered that this wasnt entirely true.

  • The second is a Chinese developed theory, which is better watched illustrated than explained.

Each finger on the left hand was made to signify something. The thumb represents your parents, your index finger represents your siblings, the middle finger represents yourself, your fourth finger represents your life-partner and the fifth finger, your pinkie, represents your future children.

Source: http://i.ytimg.com

Source: http://i.ytimg.com

Place your hands together and bend your middle fingers together, allowing for your knuckles to touch. When doing this, allow for your other remaining fingers to touch.
Begin to pull each finger apart, individually. You will see that your thumbs will pull apart because you are not destined to be with your parents forever. Now do the same action with your index finger and pinkie; you will see the same results. According to the Chinese theory, you are not meant to be together forever with your siblings, as well as your future children as they will leave the home and start a family of their own.

Now try to do the same action with your ring finger, which represents your life partner. When you try to separate these fingers apart, it doesn’t lift as easily as the other fingers, right? This is because you and your life partner are meant to be together forever. (source: Here)

  • Also, majority of the human population are predominantly right handed, they use their right hand for almost everything, write, eat…so wearing the wedding ring on a finger on this hand does not only imply the quick wear of this precious metal, but also will impede a lot of activities, as you will have to take it off so many times to smoothly do what you want to do. Why not seek an alternative instead of putting yourself through that stress? Hence, the left hand. Also, the ring finger is one of the least used fingers after the pinkie.
  • And come on, people wear different/other kinds of ring on all the other fingers, why not set one aside as a universal symbol? It’s more like arguing why seconds is the unit of time, do you want to pick yours uniquely? Imagine such is left to be subjective to various individual, we will always have to ask everybody every time if the ring on their finger is a wedding ring or just an ornament.

I’m sure there are many other reasons. But with the few presented in the post, do you think this tradition be bent?  Subjected to individual preference, understanding and interpretation.

Share as a comment. Will you rather wear your wedding band on another finger?

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Other Episodes of WEDDING TRADITION here

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Thank you for reading, I’ll be waiting to see your comment.

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To read the previous part, Click

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