Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

This Ring: An Ending

Wedding_ringsThis meditation is to be said on the act of removing a wedding band. My goal: a prayer versatile enough to be used either after a divorce or after the death of a life partner. To be successful, the prayer would therefore need to acknowledge a range of emotions, allowing individuals to hear and say the prayer from the perspective of their own life experiences. The first line of the prayer honors the act of putting on the ring, thus acknowledging the hopes and dreams of the past – the binding that requires an unbinding – creating the raison d’être for this prayer.

For some, this is a shehciyanu moment. For others, perhaps it’s a Kaddish moment. It can be a time of pain, fear or emotional ambiguity. Some will use this prayer in a solitary setting. Others may use it as part of a healing ceremony of their own design that takes place in the company of friends or family. These considerations led to another goal for this piece: creating a simple and concise prayer focused on healing.

To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below (website only). The text follows.

This Ring: An Ending
When I put your ring on my finger
I wrapped it around my heart.

In removing this ring from my finger
I release my heart
With grief and joy,
Uncertainty and faith,
In unequal measures.

Ancient One,
G-d of compassion and grace,
Let this moment be a blessing
So that healing continues
To flow into my hours and days.
Grant me the strength and insight
To honor the past and embrace the future
With dignity and passion,
Wisdom and thanksgiving,
Kindness and charity.
Then, G-d of wholeness and healing,
I will return to song and dance,
Laughter and praise,
As a beacon of Your light,
A source of joy, hope and love.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer might also be used after removing an engagement ring. Thanks to my friend Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder for the idea for this prayer. Thanks to my dear cousin Irwin Keller for his comments and suggestions on an early draft of this prayer. Here’s a prayer “For Bereaved Children,” for healing the grief of our children, appropriate for parents to say whether the loss is by death or divorce.

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3 Responses to “This Ring: An Ending”

  1. Norman Sider

    I don’t think this prayer would be appropriate shortly after the death of one’s spouse or intended spouse. It’s much too soon to speak of moving on.

    • tobendlight

      Norm, your comment speaks to the difficulty of crafting a prayer in an area with a potentially broad emotional landscape. It also points out an underlying assumption that this would be used later in the grieving process, which reflects my own journey as a widower.


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