A Sunday Homily
Marriages around the world have a great many traditions. One of my favorites involves The Irish Claddagh Ring, which is one of the most widely known traditions around the world. The ring incorporates a set of hands representing friendship, holding a heart which represents love, and a crown on top of the heart to represent loyalty. It originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old city walls of Galway, now part of Galway City.
According to Irish author Colin Murphy, the way in which a Claddagh ring was worn describes the wearer’s relationship status:
- On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, the wearer is single and may be looking for love.
- On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is in a relationship.
- On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, the wearer is engaged.
- On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is married.
The first records of production put the creation of Claddagh in the 17th Century. But the ring was not named the “Claddagh ring” until after the 1840s. There are several written accounts of the origins of the ring, each associate its creation with a famous Irish jeweler. None of which are particularly romantic and only one that I’d call interesting, but still not romantic. Continue reading