Orans

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The Orans (Latin for praying) is the name of the attitude of prayer in which the arms are upraised and the palms facing up, with the elbows bent inwards. Though much associated with Christians, this position was used by Pagans and Jews before Christ as well as Christians. It is depicted numerous times in the Roman catacombs.

Orans also may refer to a female figure with her arms upraised, which is thought to symbolize the soul, either in departure from the body or in prayer for those on earth. [1]

References

  1. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11269a.htm