Heart in Hand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

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.