THOSE DAYS

A SONG AIN’T NOTHING BUT A CONVERSATION FIXED UP TO WHERE YOU CAN TALK IT OVER AND OVER WITHOUT YOU GETTING TIRED OF IT. SIMILIAR TO VOWS ON YOUR WEDDING DAY, THOSE WORDS YOU SAY TO YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER ARE FOSSILED IN YOUR HEART AND MIND FOR ETERNITY.

FOR YEARS, COUPLES HAVE DEDICATED A SINGLE RING FINGER TO ROMANCE WHEN ANY OTHER DIGIT WOULD DO.

IN MEDIEVAL TIMES, GETTING CAUGHT SCRIBBLING WITH ONE’S LEFT HAND COULD EARN ACCUSATIONS OF BEING POSSESSED. DURING THE SPANISH INQUISITION, LEFTIES WERE MORE LIKELY TO BE TORTURED OR KILLED. IN FACT, THE AVERSION TOUCHED MANY CULTERES, FROM THE LONG-STANDING TABOO IN ISLAMIC COUNTIRES AGAINST EATING AND DRINKING WITH ONE’S LEFT HAND TO THE EXPECTATION IN ANCIENT JAPAN THAT ANY WIFE WHO DIDNT FAVOR HER RIGHT HAND WOULD BE DIVORCED ON THE SPOT.

SO WHY DO WE FAVOR A FINGER ONA CURSED HAND TO SYMBOLIXE LASTING LOVE? PAST PERCEPTION WAS NOT ALL THAT BAD. THE UNION BETWEEN MARRIAGE AND THE NOW-STANDARD RING PLACEMNT CAN TRACED BACK TO SECOND-CENTURY EGYPTIANS. THEY WHOME BELIEVED THAT A CERTAIN MOST DELICATE NERVE BEGAVE IN THE FOURTH LEFT FINGER AND STRETCHEF DIRECTLY TO THE HEART.

DURING THE ROMAN ENGAGEMENT PROCESS, A WELL-OFF SUITOR WHO COULD AFFORD A RING WOULD SLIP IT OVER HIS BRIDE TO BE’S FOURTH FINGER. STILL, OTHERS ARGUE THAT REVERENCE FOR THE FOURTH FINGER BEGUN AS AN EARLY CHRISTIAM RITUAL. WHILE CROSSING THEMSELVES IN AN ORTHODOX CHURCH, WORSHIPERS ARE EXPECTED TO JOIN THE THUMB WITH THE INDEX AND MIDDLE FINGERS.

UNTIL THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, ORTHODOX COUPLES NORMALLY WORE THEIR RINGS ON THE RIGHT HAND AND MOST EUROPEANS OF ALL FAITH FOLLOWED SUIT. DURING THE REFORMATIONIN 1549, AND ENGLIAH BIAHOP AND PROTESTANT REFORMER NAMED THOMAS CRANNER USED WEDDING RINGS AS A WAY TO BREAK FROM TRADITION. IN THAT SAME YEAR, HE PUBLISHED THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, WHICH INSTRUCTS COUPLES TO DITCH A CENTURIES-OLD PRACTICE IN FAVOPR OF SLIPPING THEIR WEDDING RINGS OVER THE LEFT FOURTH FINGER. BEFORE LONG. HUSBANDS AND WIVES THROUGHOUT THE CONTINENT WERE DOING SO.

 

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