What is the Catholic "Gold ring mass"? What kind of liturgy it is?
Wow, I never thought anyone would ask this question. It is unbelievably hard to track down, but several years ago I discovered it with a lot of research.
This is a local tradition from the Archdiocese of San Lorenzo in Perugia. I discovered this after digging into the Revelations of Blessed Catherine Emmerich. The original French book had great side notes that were the huge clue to solving this.
On July 29 and Sept. 12, scores of pilgrims come to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Perugia, Italy, to see and venerate a sacred object — a relic said to be the Blessed Virgin Mary’s wedding ring.
Although the residents of Perugia knew about this ring for several hundreds of years, those outside the city were unaware of it until the writings of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich in the 19th century.
Bedridden for many years, she described a vision she experienced on July 29, 1821:
“I saw the Blessed Virgin’s wedding ring; it is neither of silver nor of gold, nor of any other metal; it is dark in color and iridescent; it is not a thin narrow ring, but rather thick and at least a finger broad. I saw it smooth and yet as if covered with little regular triangles in which were letters. On the inside was a flat surface. The ring is engraved with something. I saw it kept behind many locks in a beautiful church. Devout people about to be married take their wedding rings to touch it.”
“She knew it was in a church in Italy but did not know which one and never found out,” wrote Marian Father Donald Calloway in Consecration to St. Joseph.
Less than a week later, on Aug. 3, Blessed Anne Catherine had another vision of the ring:
“Today I saw a festival in a church in Italy where the wedding ring is to be found. It seemed to me to be hung up in a kind of monstrance that stood above the tabernacle. There was a large altar there, magnificently decorated; one saw deep into it through much silverwork. I saw many rings being held against the monstrance. During the festival, I saw Mary and Joseph appearing in their wedding garments on each side of the ring, as if Joseph were placing the ring on the Blessed Virgin’s finger. At the same time, I saw the ring shining and as if in movement.”
Since 1517, this Holy Ring, the Santo Anello, has been kept in the same gold and silver reliquary specifically fashioned for it by master goldsmiths Federico del Roscetto and his son Cesarino. The reliquary looks like a monstrance, with carvings, figures and ornamentation. It is among the masterworks of Italian Renaissance goldsmiths.
This official display of the Holy Ring happens twice a year on official occasions. The first time is July 29-30, the date the Santo Anello was transferred from the chapel in the palazzo to the chapel in the cathedral in 1488. The second time is on Sept. 12, the Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary.
Fittingly, the dates relate to Blessed Anne Catherine’s two visions, which happened on July 29 and Aug. 3 — significant times for the Holy Ring. In Consecration to St. Joseph, Father Calloway writes that, unknown to her, “these dates coincide with the time of the year when pilgrims visit the Cathedral in Perugia as they make their way to Assisi for the annual celebration of the Feast of the Holy Angels of the Portiuncula on Aug. 2.”
At the same time in late July, large groups of couples, married and soon-to-be married, come to venerate the ring. As Father Calloway explains, couples are allowed “to touch their wedding rings to the Santo Anello to receive a blessing on their marriage. Blessed Anne Catherine apparently witnessed this happening in her visions!” - Holy Ring: The Wedding Band of the Blessed Virgin Mary
On this day the Church celebrates the Holy Name of Mary (September 12). After mass, with the permission of the rector of the Cathedral engaged couples and married individuals may touch their gold wedding rings to the reliquary containing the wedding ring of Our Lady from St. Joseph. This is a unique local tradition from the Archdiocese of San Lorenzo in Perugia, Italy.
Believe it or not, I would say this is the real McCoy.
I wrote a book entitled A Journey Through the Year with the Church in which I have log in many unknown local feasts and traditions, so I was well aware of this local feast!
Rumour has it that it helps destroy pornography addictions.
Finger-rings, like rings for the ears and the nose, were used as ornaments by the Jews as early as the Biblical period (Ex. xxxv. 22, etc.), while seal-rings (Gen. xxxviii. 18, 25, etc.) and rings as signs of the highest dignity were likewise known at that time (ib. xli. 42, etc.). Neither the Bible nor the Talmud, however, speaks of the ring as symbolic of marriage. In the Talmudic period the formalities of betrothal, which ceremony was regarded as the beginning of marriage, resembled those of the first part of the modern engagement, the bridegroom giving the bride money, some article of value, or a document, saying at the time: "Be thou hallowed unto me through. . . ." About the seventh or eighth century, however, when two of the three mishnaic methods of obtaining a wife had become obsolete, the use of a ring as a symbol of marriage began to be frequent, probably earlier in Palestine than in Babylonia on account of the Roman influence exerted in the former. - Rings (Jewish Encyclopedia)