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purity rings

The number 434 in relation to engraved rings may sound extremely enigmatic and somewhat similar to the cryptic approach to engraving your wedding ring . The mystery can be explained very easily. A popular Christian abstinence program that promotes its cause through wearing silver purity rings uses a passage from First Thessalonians 4.3-4 as a inspirational motto. The numbers are also featured on Christian purity rings that can be obtained through the program. These rings can typically only bought after attending one of the events sponsored by the program, also it is likely that there is some secondary market, as well as imitations (if you shop for jewelry at tiffany &co or at Zales you’re out of luck). The Scripture passage (1 Thessalonians 4.3-4) that is used for these purity rings goes like this:

NIV:

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,

KJV:

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

Vulgate (Latin):

haec est enim voluntas Dei sanctificatio vestra ut abstineatis vos a fornicatione ut sciat unusquisque vestrum suum vas possidere in sanctificatione et honore

Learn more about purity rings!

“True love waits” silver purity ring

“True Love Waits” is the most common and popular inscription on purity rings. Curiously, this phrase does not have a direct correlation with any Bible verse (which is not a problem per se). This makes it more difficult to deal with common request to translate the words “True Love waits” into Latin (something one might wish to do for a personalized purity ring).

First of all, the Latin nouns that denote “love” have many undesirable connotations, some of them quite distant from the idea of purity. “Amor”, seemingly the most obvious candidate, very often specifically means “sexual love” – not exactly proper for a ring that promotes abstinence. Conversely, he sense of Love in “True Love Waits” is more encompassing and contains sexual love only as a component that is supposed to be fully revealed when the time is right. However, amor is still the most widely used word for love. At its core it has the proper meaning. Ancient Christian sources use “amor verus” (true love) a number of times. So, I suppose, amor is OK as a term on a purity pledge ring.

Secondly, it is not easy to find a suitable word for “wait” in Latin. S.H. Taylor’s translation of Doederlein’s dictionary of Latin synonyms comments on this: “For the German distinction between warten and harren , the former denoting calm, passionless waiting for, the latter, eager, impatient longing for, the Latins have no corresponding synonyms. I tried several different words: exspectat, moratur, manet, cunctatur. Exspectat is probably best, especially taking into consideration this verse from the Vulgate:

beatus qui expectat et pervenit ad dies mille trecentos triginta quinque

Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
(Dan 12:12)

So, after long deliberations I decided to suggest this translation:

Amor verus expectat

Nevertheless, this is one case when I would encourage people to use English, instead of Latin. Every seminary student knows that Greek has many words that mean “love”. Well, if English has one word with just the right mixture of connotations, why not use English? I don’t think that the phrase “True love waits” is in any danger of being misunderstood. If Latin is a must, why not go with:

iuvenilia autem desideria fuge sectare vero iustitiam fidem caritatem pacem cum his qui invocant Dominum de corde puro

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

(2 Tim 2:22)

Also, there is a wonderful Classical quote:

Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebit – True love will hold on to those whom it has held. (Seneca)

The need for “waiting” can be seen as implied here.

Apart from “True love waits” people often choose these English inscriptions for their purity rings:

Purity

Pure

Pure before God

Faith

When You Have Faith, Anything is Possible

I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.

Jesus

Chaste

Chastity (Purity rings are also sometimes referred to as chastity rings)

You can also ad the person’s name of the personalized purity ring, but as far as I can tell this is not a widely used practice. The reason for this is partially in the fact that some purity rings are distributed through special events and programs that promote chastity.

For promise rings see also:

White Gold Promise Ring – Meaning and Significance

Men’s Promise Rings: Simple, Discreet, Meaningful

Promise Rings: History and Meaning

This list contains a few select inscriptions taken from antique promise rings. The spelling of the actual engravings has been preserved, so if you pick one of them it might be a good idea to stick with an “old looking” font. Most engravers these days can easily accommodate such a request. You can also customize these engravings in any way you like (which includes updating the orthography), or simply use the rhyming scheme to create your very own and very special engraved rings. Some of these inscriptions are more fitting for promise rings, some are more suited as engravings on wedding rings. Be warned, most of these little poems have an Elizabethan “ring” to them. I believe that this creates some additional charm. Also, keep in mind that rings can be engraved on the inside , so that the engraved phrases may only be known to you and your loved one.

ALL THINE IS MINE

ALL MINE IS THINE

ALL PERFECT LOVE

IS FROM ABOVE

AS GOD HATH KNIT OUR

HEARTS IN ONE

LET NOTHING PART BUT DEATH

ALONE

AS GOLD IS PURE LET LOVE INDURE

BODY AND MINDE IN THEE I FINDE

BY GOD’S DIRECTION WE JOYN AFFECTION

CONSTANT AND TRUE I’LL BE TO YOU

CONTENTED WITH MY CHOICE

DESIRE AND DESERVE

ENDLESS AS THIS SHALL BE OUR BLISS

GOD SAW THEE MOST FIT FOR ME

GOD’S INTENT NONE CAN PREVENT

I BID ADIEU TO ALL BUT YOU

I DO REJOYCE IN THEE MY CHOYCE

I FANCY NONE BUT THEE ALONE

I LIKE MY CHOICE AND DO REJOYCE

IN CONSTANCIE I LIVE AND DYE

IN LOVE’S DELIGHT SPEND DAY AND NIGHT

KEEPE FAYTH TILL DETH

LOVE EVER OR LOVE NEVER

LOVE IS SURE WHERE FAITH IS PURE

MY GIVING THIS

BEGINS MY BLISS

MY LOUE TO THEE SHALL ENDLESS BE

NO LOVE MORE TRUE THAN MINE TO YOU

NOT THINE NOR MINE BUT OURS

ON THY RETURN FROM SEE

UNITED WEE WILL BEE

PREPARED BE TO FOLLOW ME

REMEMBER HIM WHO DIED FOR THEE

AND AFTER THAT REMEMBER ME

REMEMBER MEE WHEN THIS YOU SEE

RINGS AND TRUE FRIENDS

ARE WITHOUT ENDS

THIS AND I UNTILL I DIE

THY CONSENT IS MY CONTENT

TO GOD’S DECREE WEE BOTH AGREE

TO LIVE IN LOVE I LOVE TO LIVE

TO ME TILL DEATH AS DEAR AS BREATH

TWAS GOD TO THEE DIRECTED ME

UNITED HARTES DEATH ONLY PARTES

VERTUE AND LOVE ARE FROM ABOVE

WHERE ONCE I CHOOSE I NE’ER REFUSE

Also see:

Ideas for Engraved Rings. Part 1: Latin Quotes on Engraved Wedding Rings, Promise Rings and Purity

Promise Rings: History and Meaning

Here I have a few ideas that might provide inspiration for creating customized engravings on a promise ring, a wedding ring or a purity ring. The first set I am publishing contains Latin quotes. What needs to be said at this point is that looking for Latin quotations on the internet can be a very dangerous thing. There is a lot of bad Latin out there, so to speak. Some translations are dubious to begin with, but after being copied multiple times, they become detached from their context. Eventually people who have no business dealing with Latin compile them and post them for everybody’s pleasure. To give you a vivid example a must quote a page entitled “Latin Love Quotes: Latin Proverbs on Love and Relationships”:

Each quotation offers words of wisdom in English followed by its Latin translation. Latin is the root of the romance languages and it shows. When people think of a Latin lover, they think of a red-hot lover.

The person who wrote this clearly has no idea what she was talking about. The term “romance” in its colloquial sense has very little to do with Romance languages. This usage stems from a literary term describing love stories that were popularized by medieval authors who wrote in a vernacular sometimes referred to as “Romance” (as in romanice scribere ). Similarly, Latin lovers have nothing to do with the language of Ancient Rome. But all this could be forgiven if the quotes cited were actually correct. But they are not! The original text of the famous quote from Virgil Love conquers all is given as Amor tussisque non celantur, actually meaning Love and cough are not concealed. I can only pity someone who used this phrase for their wedding rings or a tattoo! You have to always verify the quotation you are using for an engraving, using a few independent sources. Obviously, I have checked the phrases below the best I could.

  • Ab hinc From now on
  • Amor est vitae essentiaLove is the essence of life. (Robert B. Mackay)
  • Amoris vulnus idem sanat, qui facitThe same person who causes the wound of love, heals it. (Publilius Syrus)
  • Bona fortuna Good luck.
  • Da mihi basia mille – Kiss me with a thousand kisses
  • De die in diem – From day to day.
  • De novo Anew.
  • Deo adjuvante – With God’s help.
  • Deo favente – With God’s favor.
  • Domine, dirige nos – Lord, direct us
  • Dominus illuminatio mea – The Lord is my light
  • Dominus providebit – The Lord will provide
  • Dulcius ex asperis – Through difficulty, more sweet.
  • Esto perpetuo May it last forever.
  • Ex amore vitaFrom love, life
  • Finis amoris ut duo unum fiantIt is the goal of love that two shall become one.
  • In aeternumForever.
  • In omnia parati Prepared for everything (plural) .
  • Junctis viribus By united efforts.
  • Laus Deo Praise be to God.
  • Manus in manu Hand in hand.
  • Mirabile visu Wonderful to behold.
  • Ne cede malis Yield not to evils.
  • Nec mortem effugere quisquam nec amorem potestNo one is able to flee from death or love (Publilius Syrus)
  • Non est ei similis There is no one like him (her).
  • Oculi amorem incipiunt, consuetudo perficit. The eyes initiate love, habit completes it. (Publilius Syrus)
  • Omnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amoriLove conquers all things; let us too surrender to love . (Virgil). The word order is sometimes changed to “Vincit omnia amor” and “Amor vincit omnia”.
  • Pactum servaPreserve the faith (the contract).
  • Pignus amoris– A token of love.
  • Puris omnia pura To the pure all things are pure.
  • Quod Deus iunxit homo non separetWhat God has joined together, let man not separate.
  • Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebitTrue love will hold on to those whom it has held. (Seneca)
  • Si vis amari, amaIf you wish to be loved, love . (Seneca)
  • Sine cura Without a care.
  • Spero melior I hope for better things.
  • Tamquam alter idem As if a second self. ( Cicero about a true friend)
  • Ubi amor, ibi oculusWhere there is desire, there is the eye
  • Ubi concordia, ibi victoria Where is the unity, there is the victory. ( Publilius Syrus )
  • Ut ameris, ama!To be loved, love! (Martial)
  • Velle est posse To be willing is to be able.

It must be noted that in ancient Rome there was no distinction between “U” and “V”, there was also no special letter for “J” (“I” was used). The distinction between lower-case and upper-case letters is also a relatively recent innovation. Consequently, it is customary to only use upper-case letters in modern Latin inscriptions and engravings, replacing u’s with V’s, and j’s with I’s. So, if you plan to order engraved rings with the inscription “Junctis viribus” it will look best like this: IVNCTIS VIRIBVS. However, these conventions have become more relaxed in modern times. You can choose the style of lettering based on the design of the wedding rings that you want to engrave. I may be able to provide an advice in some more complicated cases.

engravedring

See Also: Engraved Dedications for your Friends and Family. In Latin!