Religious or Faith Rings
Rings – and other jewelry – are worn by followers of many religions. Sometimes, the rings are a simple declaration of belief – a public statement of a belief in God. Sometimes these rings are worn as a symbol of authority.
Symbols of authority:
In the Roman Catholic religion, the most famous ring is the Pope’s ring, commonly called The Ring of the Fisherman but also known as the Piscatory Ring. This ring is an official part of the ceremonial dress worn by the Pope, the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, and is presented to him during the Papal coronation.
Until 1842, the Ring of the Fisherman was a signet ring used to seal official documents signed by the pope and features a bas-relief of St. Peter fishing from a boat. When each pope dies the ring he wears is ceremoniously crushed in the presence of the other cardinals. A new ring is then cast and presented when the next pope is elected.
Cardinals and Bishops in other religions wear Clerical Rings, not only in the Roman Catholic Church: rings are worn by bishops in the Anglican and Lutheran churches.
It is also customary for certain orders of nuns to wear wedding rings. They are traditionally referred to as Brides of Christ and this ring is worn to symbolize not only their faith but their vow of chastity and betrothal to God.
Declaration of Faith
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Followers of some Christian religions will wear a ring as a declaration of their faith. These rings can also have practical use: rings made of metal, wood or plastic are constructed with ten small knobs and used to pray the Rosary. These are Roman Catholic Rosary rings.
There is no precise or agreed design for such rings but they tend to feature a cross or a similar motif.
A ring with the letters “CTR” on is often worn by members of the LDS Church as a reminder of the Choose the Right motto and as a symbol of their religious affiliation. Choose the right is a motto of the members of The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church) that is taught to children and used by members of the church as a reminder to act righteously.
In recent years, the wearing of Purity Rings has become a common practice. Purity rings (chastity rings) originated in the United States during the 1990s when young Christians began to swear to sexual abstinence. These rings are worn by both males and females and usually are accompanied by a religious vow to practice celibacy until marriage.
Again, purity, chastity or promise rings have no particular style. Those worn with a vow of celibacy are sometimes designed with a cross in reference to the Crucifixion of Jesus.