There are many well known jewellery pieces and rings worn for religious reasons worldwide, including wedding rings, emblem necklaces and claddagh rings. However, the Bishop’s Ring has grown in popularity and found a new market as more a fashion item than religious statement: but where did it all begin?
In Western Christianity, episcopal rings are worn by Bishops of both Anglican and Catholic faiths. In Catholicism, the Pope names Bishops and upon the awarding of the position, are granted an episcopal ring by the Cardinal. This ring has been inherited from the Bishop in the position prior, and is considered a great honour to demonstrate his position of power and trustworthiness by the Church. These rings are normally gold, chunky and heavy-set with gems or designs that may have meaning or significance within their local area, sect or parish. Once the Bishop has his first ring awarded to him by the Cardinal, he is free to obtain other rings; but all of this jewellery remains the property of the Church and will be inherited by new Bishops upon their passing. The first instance of Bishops being entitled with such rings dates back as far as 610AD. These rings are normally worn on the first, middle or little finger, with the fourth finger being left empty for other jewellery.
You no doubt will have seen clergyman or parishioners kiss the hand of a Holy Man in films or on tv, and the significance of this is the admittance of adoration and submission to the power with the ring presents; they are literally seen to be ‘kissing the power’.
Furthermore, a Bishop’s ring also signifies the conjugal fidelity that the clergymen hold for the Church. Whilst this isn’t normally applicable to Bikers, it does also represent the faith and loyalty that a Biker may hold for his or her own faction or gang.
Nowadays, of course, it’s unlikely that if you wear a Bishop’s ring you are, indeed, a Bishop. But these rings continue to hold personal significance for many, and the idea of an inherited ring through generations of family, friends or biker gangs has stuck. For example, as the patriarch of a certain family passes away, it is significant to pass on a Bishop’s ring to the man who will then take on this role within the family thereafter. If this isn’t a tradition within your family or circle of friends, why not start it? Bishop’s rings are also thoughtful gifts that can signify the assumption of a significant and positive role in the gift giver’s life.
The BikerRingShop range of Bishop’s rings is unrivalled and includes some beautiful gold pieces with amethyst settings and crosses engraved. Browse the range to find either a gift for yourself or someone else today!