Elizabeth has just informed me that her fiancé Anthony wants her younger brother to be a ring bearer at their wedding. The first thing that flashed through my mind was that as a 12 years old I could not see her brother dressed up like little Lord Fauntleroy walking down the aisle carrying a silk and lace cushion trying his best not to toss these two precious rings off it whilst trying not trip over the flower girls or his sisters long veil. It just doesn't seem to be a match made in Heaven and would be enough stress for him not to sleep for weeks at the thought of it.
However she reassured me he would be dressed in a kilt like the rest of the grooms party, and Anthony has designed and made a box with a tight fitting lid which should keep the rings very secure, phew, one less thing for me to worry about. I could just imagine that the one day I get to put some glad rags on and dress up I would be on my hands and knees crawling over pews trying to retrieve rings that had inadvertently been sent spinning!
Anyway, this got me wondering, what the history of ring bearers was. Now most of what has been written seems a bit foggy. It appears as far back as Ancient Egypt there was a custom for young boys to carry rings at a wedding ceremony and during the Medieval times rings were carried on the tip of a sword. This had a double meaning, one the importance of the task you were undertaking and the second a stark reminder of what you could expect if you decided to enter into an extra marital affair!
It was during Victorian times that our notion of Pageboy bearing rings down the aisle, dressed in lace and wearing a white sash, often carrying the brides veil and her prayer book seems to have originated. This has now spread throughout the world, and though the lace and sash have been laid to rest it is usual for the youngster to be dressed in the same attire as the grooms party.
The wedding rings are a very important part of the wedding ceremony. They symbolize the new bond between the bride and groom. In entering into this covenant with each other the ring shows to the outside world that each are now spoken for. Therefore the job of the ring bearer is of the utmost importance, and one I am sure when his moment comes Gabriel will do with as much poise as a 12 year old can muster!
I have not yet seen the box that is going to bear these most precious rings down the aisle but I had some fun looking on Pinterest ( where else) for some ideas to share with you.