Heart in Hand

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This article is about the symbol. For the English band, see Heart in Hand (band). For the Brenda Lee song, see Heart in Hand (song).

The Heart in Hand or Heart-in-Hand is a symbol of a heart in an open palm,[1] and is symbolic of charity, given from the heart.[2] It is an easily recognizable symbol in the Northeastern United States and used by the Shakers[1] as a pictoral reminder of the words of Mother Ann Lee, the founder of the Shaker sect, who promoted a simple life of hard work and spirituality, "Put your hands to work, and your hearts to God."[1][3] The image is typical of the Shaker attitude, and also implies a loving welcome.[1]

A heart in hand has also been a symbol of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows,[1] a fraternal organization derived from English Oddfellows orders of the mid-18th century. These commonly display three linked rings representing friendship, love, and truth.[1]

The symbol originated as the seal of the Protestant Reformer John Calvin, and thus appears in the official seal of Calvin College with Calvin's motto,"My heart I offer to you LORD, promptly and sincerely." [4][5]

The symbol is also frequently associated with Amish communities.

The symbol was also used as a chop mark in the woodblock prints of Gustave Baumann (Germ./Amer. 1881-1971).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Heart in Hand". About.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  2. ^ "Art from the Lodge Hall: An American Cultural Tradition". Bruce Webb. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  3. ^ "Heart-in-Hand Cookies". Spatulatta: Cooking 4 kids online. Archived from the original on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  4. ^ "John Calvin: The Reformer and Educator". PCA Christian Education and Publications. Retrieved 2013-04-03. 
  5. ^ "The Theology of John Calvin, page xiv". Westminster John Knox Press. Retrieved 2013-04-03.