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Episcopal Rings. In the late middle ages, the rite for the ordination of bishops came to include the delivery of instruments of office. An episcopal ring was given to the newly ordained bishop, along with staff and miter. The episcopal ring was a signet ring. It may have been used as an official seal. Some episcopal rings contained relics. The use of episcopal rings has been dated to the seventh century. At the ordination of a bishop in the Episcopal Church, a ring, staff, and miter, or other suitable insignia of office may be presented to the newly-ordained bishop. This follows the presentation of the Bible and the formula of presentation (BCP, p. 553). Modern episcopal rings are often made of gold and ornamented with an amethyst. The episcopal ring is usually worn on the ring-finger of the bishop's right hand. Similar rings are worn by abbots and some abbesses. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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