Since exchanging rings isn’t part of the temple sealing, Latter-day Saint couples have two options. Either they can exchange rings at the conclusion of the sealing after they have stepped away from the altar, or they can exchange them at a separate ring ceremony during the reception. Keep reading to learn why a ring ceremony may be right for you, get current guidelines from general authorities, and see a sample ring ceremony program.
Reasons for an LDS Ring Ceremony
Having a ring ceremony after a temple sealing is beneficial for many reasons. Latter-day Saint couples often choose to hold a separate ring ceremony because it:
- Allows parents, bishops, or other special people to be involved as speakers during the ceremony
- Lets a larger group of guests witness a part of the special day (it is only appropriate to invite family and close friends to the sealing)
- Includes family members who don’t qualify for temple recommends and can’t see the sealing
Why a Ring Ceremony is Good for Part-Member Families
It’s hard to imagine what less-active or non-member parents and family members must feel when they are unable to witness the temple sealing. A ring ceremony can lessen the hurt by helping them feel that they didn’t completely “miss” the wedding. Of course the rings are simply symbols of the covenants you’ve already made in the temple sealing, but exchanging them in a ring ceremony is a simple way to include everyone and publicly acknowledge the love and hard work that non-member or inactive family members have put into this special day.
LDS Guidelines for Ring Ceremonies
If you decide that a ring ceremony is right for you, then you need to know how to perform one in keeping with church guidelines. Ring ceremonies are not appropriate on temple grounds, and should instead be performed at another location.
The church’s most recent statement on ring ceremony protocol in 1984 reads that “the circumstances should be consistent with the dignity of [the] temple marriage. The exchange should not appear to replicate any part of the marriage ceremony. For instance, there should be no exchanging of vows on that occasion.” A 1987 article in the New Era repeats that “the sanctity and impressiveness of the [sealing] marriage ceremony should not be overshadowed by any other procedure.”
Sample Program for an Mormon Ring Ceremony
Other than the above listed cautions, couples are free to do pretty much whatever they want at their ring ceremonies. It should be something that expresses your personality and the special love that you share. Most ring ceremonies last between 10 and 20 minutes, and they may include:
♥ Opening prayer
♥ Special musical number by a friend or relative
♥ A short 3-5 minute talk explaining the significance of temple sealing (this can be especially helpful for non-member parents trying to understand why temple marriage was chosen)
♥ Brief speeches or “toasts” from selected members of the wedding party
♥ Bride explaining her feelings for the groom
♥ Groom explaining his feelings for the bride
♥ Exchange of rings
♥ Closing prayer
Again, there is no set pattern for an LDS ring ceremony. So as long as it doesn’t take place on temple grounds, replace the importance of the sealing, or turn into a “second wedding” brides and grooms can enjoy the freedom to plan their ring ceremony however they see fit. When done correctly, a ring ceremony is a great way to include family and friends in the happiness of your wedding day.
♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for WeddingLDS.com
Copyright © 2010 WeddingLDS.com. All rights reserved.