Hand-Holding Etiquette

Here’s the hard truth. Holding hands is awkward. Your palms get sweaty, your fingers twitch, and every hand is a different size. Maybe your hand feels like a dwarf’s in comparison; maybe you think the other person is a dwarf. At the end of the day, hand holding is messy.

Prayer is a time to join hands in agreement with each other. Whether you’re praying with a friend, making a chain around a room, or sitting in a circle, there’s just some basic prayer-time hand-holding rules of etiquette that should be followed for minimal awkwardness.

Rule #1: In the event of hand detachment, it is the responsibility of the one who let go to connect the hands again.

Look. Everyone’s eyes are closed. If you let go to scratch your head, brush your hair away from your eyes, wipe off your palm, or itch your nose, I don’t know when you’re done. I can’t see! It’s common sense that you should be the one to grab my hand again, not the other way around. If you don’t do this? The hands may never join together again.

Rule #2: To Not Clasp is Distracting.

You know that saying about a firm grip when shaking hands? It’s a valid point. A firm grip is expected from a hand shake. It’s memorable. Likewise, when praying, do not hold your hand like a floppy fish. Instead, clasp the hand of the other person. It’s plain etiquette to keep them from wondering if they’re squeezing the life out of you.

Rule #3: Don’t Squeeze the Life Out of People

A general clasp is good. The tight grasp of my fingers, cutting off my blood circulation, however, is not. As much as holding a floppy fish hand is distracting, the infliction of pain is even more so.

Rule #4: Let It Go; And Try Not To Again.

We understand that you get itchy. That your palm gets sweaty. That your nose needs scratched, that a hair is tickling you. We’ve already established what to do when you let go. But please, try not to continuously let go and retake someone’s hand. Take care of it all in one swoop, if you can.

Go forth, my fellow siblings-in-Christ, and eliminate prayer-time awkwardness.


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