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Why do nuns wear a ring on their right hand?

Nuns are commonly seen wearing a ring on their right hand. Many people wonder why they wear it, and what it signifies. Contrary to popular belief, the ring is not a symbol of marriage, nor is it a sign of engagement. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why nuns wear a ring on their right hand and what it symbolizes.

Religious Significance

For many nuns, the ring is a symbol of their religious order. Just as wedding rings are a symbol of commitment and devotion to one’s spouse, so too are religious rings a symbol of commitment and devotion to one’s faith. The ring represents the vows that the nun has taken, and serves as a constant reminder of her commitment to her faith and her order.

Historical Context

The tradition of wearing a ring on the right hand dates back to medieval times, when rings were a symbol of social status. The left hand was considered to be the “business” hand, while the right hand was seen as the “social” hand. Therefore, those of higher social status would wear rings on their right hand, while those of lower social status would wear them on their left. Over time, the tradition of wearing a ring on the right hand evolved, and nuns began to wear them as a symbol of their dedication to their faith.

Types of Rings

There are several different types of rings that nuns may wear on their right hand. The most common type is a “profession ring,” which is given to nuns upon taking their final vows. This type of ring typically features the symbol of the nun’s order, along with a motto or inscription that is meaningful to her. Other types of rings that nuns may wear include “topaz rings,” which are given to nuns upon completing their novitiate, and “diamond rings,” which are given to nuns who have taken perpetual vows.

Personal Significance

While the ring that a nun wears on her right hand may have symbolic significance, it also holds personal significance for the nun herself. Many nuns consider their ring to be a treasured possession, and may wear it as a reminder of their individual journey and the challenges they have faced along the way. The ring may also hold sentimental value, if it was passed down to the nun from another member of her order or from a loved one.


In conclusion, the ring that nuns wear on their right hand is a symbol of their dedication and commitment to their faith. It represents the vows that they have taken, and serves as a constant reminder of their journey and devotion. While the tradition of wearing a ring on the right hand dates back to medieval times, it has evolved over time to become a meaningful symbol for nuns around the world.


Why do Catholic nuns wear rings?

Catholic nuns are an integral part of the Catholic Church. They embrace a life of devotion, prayer, and service to others. They play an essential role in various religious communities worldwide. One significant aspect of the lives of Catholic nuns is the wearing of rings.

Nuns believe that they are married to Jesus Christ as a spiritual bride of Christ. They take on a vow of chastity, signifying dedication to God’s work and forsaking all forms of romantic relationships. The ring is a physical representation of their devotion and marital bond to Jesus Christ. Additionally, the ring symbolizes a constant reminder of who and what nuns have dedicated their lives to.

The traditional clothing worn by nuns is called the habit. It typically consists of a white cap, veil, and long tunic. This clothing is considered the nun’s wedding dress and represents their commitment and faith in Jesus Christ.

It’s worth noting that not all nuns live the same lifestyle, and not all nuns wear rings. Some may choose to wear necklaces or bracelets instead, or may even forego wearing any jewelry. It ultimately boils down to individual preference and the particular religious community the nun belongs to.

The wearing of rings by Catholic nuns is a symbolic gesture that signifies their spiritual marriage to Jesus Christ. It represents their unwavering faith, commitment, and devotion to their religious vocation. Regardless of individual preferences, the ring remains an essential aspect of the Catholic nun’s life, representing their spiritual journey and relationship with their heavenly spouse.

Do Catholics wear their wedding ring on their right hand?

In the Catholic faith, there is a symbolic significance to the way wedding and engagement rings are worn. According to tradition, engagement rings are worn on the right hand while wedding rings are worn on the left hand. The reason for this distinction is that the left hand is considered to be closer to the heart, and the exchange of wedding rings is seen as a symbol of the couple’s commitment to each other and to God.

The practice of wearing a wedding ring on the left hand dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was believed that a vein ran from the fourth finger of the left hand directly to the heart. This belief has been passed down through the ages and remains prevalent in many cultures and religions, including the Catholic faith.

Catholic teachings emphasize the importance of the sacrament of marriage, which is viewed as a sacred bond between two individuals that is blessed by God. By wearing a wedding ring, Catholics are reminded of their commitment to their spouse and to God, as well as the sanctity of the marriage covenant.

While engagement rings are traditionally worn on the right hand in the Catholic faith, there is no hard and fast rule that dictates this practice. Catholics may choose to wear their engagement rings on either hand, depending on personal preference or cultural tradition.

It is worth noting that not all cultures or religions view the wearing of wedding rings in the same way. In some Muslim cultures, for example, wedding rings are traditionally worn on the right hand rather than the left. However, regardless of the specific cultural or religious practices, the sentiment behind the wearing of a wedding ring – that of love, commitment, and fidelity – remains the same.

What kind of ring does a nun wear?

Up until the 1960s, it was customary for every nun in the Catholic church to take part in a symbolic wedding ceremony. This ceremony signified the complete renunciation of the world and adoption of a religious life as a nun. During this ceremony, the nun would dress in bridal white, wearing a wreath and veil. She would then receive a wedding ring as a symbol of her marriage to Christ, whom she is devoted to serving.

The wedding ring given to a nun during this ceremony is usually simple in design and made from a modest metal such as gold or silver. The ring is not always worn on the ring finger, but rather on the finger that best suits the size of the ring.

It’s important to note that not all religious orders and communities follow the same customs and traditions related to the wedding ceremony and the ring. There are various traditions followed by different religious communities. For example, in some communities, only the novice nuns wear a ring during the wedding ceremony, and it may not be a permanent fixture in their religious life.

In modern times, the concept of the wedding ceremony for nuns has been modified, and it is not as common as it once was. However, the tradition of wearing a symbolic ring is still prevalent among some orders of nuns. The ring serves as a reminder to the nun of her commitment towards serving Christ and living a religious life that is dedicated to prayer, service, and simplicity.