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Prayer pose

This is a stock pose. Males can be found doing it, but it's especially common among females, particularly within promotional material. The hands are clasped or the palms meet each other (this is a variation with the same emotional meanings) either in front of the chest or in front of the face. Light radiating from either the background or the hands is a common added touch. This is a gesture that generally indicates prayer of some kind, but not always. Sometimes, it's used more for its emotional value, in order to indicate someone who is pure of heart instead.

Contrast Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive.

Examples of Prayer Pose include:

Anime and Manga

  • Pictured above: Princess Esmeraude from Magic Knight Rayearth is often seen like this. The image comes from the first OP, but the first time she actually appears she's also in this pose, getting ready to summon the Magic Knights so they will rescue her via killing her.
  • Used creatively in Fullmetal Alchemist. Edward Elric's transmutations involve clapping his hands together. As pointed out by Rose in the Brotherhood anime, it looks much like prayer. Appropriate, considering the divine-like powers of alchemists, and Ed's struggles against evil.
  • FLCL episode 2 "Firestarter". After Canti the robot floats into the sky, he assumes a kneeling position with his hands clasped in prayer.
  • In Ranma One Half, Ranma assumes this pose during the koi rod of love storyline and occasionally at other times such as when he prays at his ancestors grave.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Whenever Chibi-Usa summons Pegasus, she first goes on her knees and folds her hands like this before she properly calls out to him. It's spoofed in the Stars anime when the Monster of the Week adopts it in a clear Chibi-Usa parody.
    • In the first anime's S season, Haruka first saw her future partner and girlfriend Michiru in a dream where she showed up like this.
    • At the very end of Stars, when Sailor Moon reaches for Sailor Galaxia's remaining good in her soul, she sees her like this in a field of flowers, crying Broken Tears. Then Moon calls out to her, her hand extended; Galaxia's soul takes the chance and accepts Moon's forgiveness, and is soon purified and redeemed.
  • Code Geass has C.C sometimes doing this as well, most notoriously during the second season's Grand Finale as Lelouch's Thanatos Gambit develops; as a bonus, she's crying.
  • In two Mobile Suit Gundam SEED openings, Lacus Clyne is seen like this.
  • The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird:
  • In G Gundam, Dr. Kasshu is seen with his hands clasped over his chest when he's a Human Popsicle after being framed for a crime he never commited and condemned to cryogenization..
    • When Rain has to transfer the Shining Gundam's data to the God Gundam, she does this via using a brainwave transmitter and then going into this as she focuses on the transfer process.
  • In The Brave Express Might Gaine, Might's girlfriend Sally Yoshinaga takes the pose in the series' OP. She also does it in canon at times: i.e., when she tries to plead with Joe Rival, who had saved her before, to not fight Might Gaine in episode 11, and ESPECIALLY at the very end when she, as the local Barrier Maiden, handles the Innocent Waves system that gives Might Gaine the power boost they need to defeat the Big Bad
  • Queen Maria Armonia from Victory Gundam is seen like this in some illustrations.
  • Sometimes used in Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics, like at the very end of Bluebeard (when Josephine aka the last wife prays for his soul) and Beauty and the Beast (when Maria/Beauty and her sisters Anna and Helena pray together in front of their dad's grave.)
  • In GoLion, Takashi Shirogane is seen like this during his wake. The same happens (this time, both in GoLion and Voltron, when Fala/Allura is comatose and believed to be dead (GL) or Faking the Dead (Voltron), and to the Tragic Monster Gorgon after she dies helping Suzuichi (again, only in GoLion)
  • In the OP of the 2019 Dororo series, Mio is in this pose.


  • Metropolis, the first sequence in the underground cathedral, Frieder is kneeling with clasped hands and backlighting to create a halo effect.
  • Five Card Stud, a 1968 Western starring Dean Martin, Roddy McDowell and Robert Mitchum. A man cheats in a poker game and is caught and lynched by most of the other players; later on, the members of the lynch mob are murdered one by one, and a player who tried to stop the killers but was knocked out cold by them (Martin) turns Amateur Sleuth to avoid the same fate himself. One of the victims is found with his hands clasped in prayer, which is thought oddly uncharacteristic. The culprit was a preacher new to the area (played by Mitchum) who was secretly the brother of the murdered cheat, out to punish his brother's killers. By the way, Martin also sang the film's theme song.


  • When Richenda invokes the quarters (calls the archangels by name) for Nigel's empowering ritual in The King's Justice, she finishes by "bowing her head over hands joined palm-to-palm in an attitude of prayer". Light then washes out to finish Warding the ritual circle before Kelson begins his part.
  • Lampshaded in Deception Point, where the main character notes that the others might think she's doing this when they're left for dead on an ice flow but is actually preparing to tap out morse code since she knows that the organisation she works for has a listening post (although they're actually saved by a passing submarine that was investigating all the activity that lead to said stranding).

Live Action TV

  • The final episode of Angel was advertised with a full page ad of David Borenanaz as Angel in this pose.


Tabletop RPG

  • Classic Traveller adventure Action Aboard - Adventures on the King Richard. Sister Mary Torget is a passenger aboard the starship ISSV King Richard. Her illustration shows her in nun's clothing and in this pose.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • The Princess and the Frog: it's the standard "wishing on a star" pose. Both Tiana and Charlotte do it, while repeating "Please, please, please!"

Real Life

  • Buddhist Monks often walk with their hands in prayer position (it's called walking meditation). It's common for Kung Fu monks to fight their enemies with one arm while the other maintains the position.
  • The Praying Mantis (insect) is called that because its forelimbs look like they're in a prayer pose.
  • Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow adopts a kneeling pose with his head bowed and one hand in a fist near his face or forehead which has become known as Tebowing.
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