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Hands Clasped in Faith

In researching my blog last week, I came across a symbol that I was not entirely familiar with. Many rings from the medieval time period included two hands clasped together. It seemed very important, so I continued my research!




The joining of hands, or ‘dextrarum iunction’, was a principal part of the ancient Roman wedding ceremony. During the Middle Ages, the Italians began incorporating the Roman tradition of hands clasped in their wedding rings and called it fede which is from the phrase ‘mani in fede’ and means ‘hands clasped in faith.’ In our time, we think of love as the most important ingredient of a marriage, but in earlier times, loyalty, faith, and trust were the bedrock of a healthy marriage. The fede became a representation of that loyalty, faith, and trust and an intricate part of wedding symbolism.


Wedding rings all across Europe began to include some form of the fede on their wedding rings beginning in the 12th century. Some rings were just the hands, while others included other symbols. Interestingly, the claddagh ring from Ireland, is a version of the fede. The claddagh ring originated in the 16th century from the Irish fishing village of Claddagh and includes two hands clasped, the fede, to represent friendship, a heart to represent love, and a crown to represent loyalty. It has become the Irish sign of love, betrothal, and marriage.


Marriage has always been an important part of culture, and it continues to be so. I find it so fascinating to research earlier traditions because it gives us an insight into the past and gives new-to-us ideas to incorporate! I would love to help you with your engagement ring and wedding bands! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 25 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Book your FREE appointment with me today! www.angelacisneros.com/book-appointment

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