Question Number 1281:

Someone told me that Orthodox Christians are supposed to wear their wedding ring on their right hand. Why is that? What does it matter whiich hand we use? Thanks.

ANSWER:

The right hand is symbolically the hand of power and that of the highest status:

Exo 15:6 Thy right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, thy right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.

During the wedding service, this is where the rings are placed.

However, it is true that many wear their ring on the left hand for practical reasons, notably to avoid the risk of accidents. This is not "sinful" of course as long as we understand the language of Scripture and the normative place of higher things on the right rather than on the left. On special occasions, it would seem fitting to return the wedding rings to the right hand to remember and honor this biblical symbolism.

Answered on 12/08/2011 by Fr Laurent

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Comments

  • James Shipgood said on July 6, 2012:

    I didn't know that. I've always worn mine on the left, even since I became Orthodox and I doubt I could get it off very easily. I'm sure God won't mind.

  • Steve said on October 14, 2013:

    The ring on the right hand stems from Ancient Greek traditions as many other Christian traditions
    But this is the first to hear about the right hand of power- but my question is why marriage is associated with power? Does not make sense in this case thanks

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