Releasing funeral doves as part of the service or celebration of the life of a loved one not only pays a poignant tribute to the person who has died, but can also prove emotionally uplifting and inspirational for the mourners attending the funeral. The sense of peace and closure is almost tangible.
Specialist Funeral Dove Release Service Providers
Dove release service providers will tailor a package according to your exact wishes and will then liaise with the funeral director to organise the presentation.
The actual release of the doves usually takes place at the end of the funeral service, civil ceremony or memorial service. A poem or piece of prose may be read or a favourite piece of music played to accompany the release. Alternatively, you may choose for the doves to be released in total silence.
The doves are released from a basket decorated in the style of your choice and the presentation is carried out by experienced dove handlers who will be appropriately attired for the occasion. On a practical note, one should bear in mind that funeral doves can only be released outdoors and in full daylight. This allows sufficient time for them to return home before it gets dark, typically at least two hours before sunset.
Symbolic Meaning & Significance
The dove is the universal symbol of peace, hope and freedom and, in this context, the release of funeral doves symbolises the release of the spirit of the departed who is finally at peace. The actual number of doves released is also significant and offers nuances of symbolic meaning and representation. For example:
- a single white dove represents the peaceful release and onward journey of the spirit of the deceased;
- a pair of doves symbolises the journey of the spirit of the person who has died accompanied by their spirit guide or guardian angel;
- the release of three doves followed immediately by the release of a single dove signifies the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost guiding the spirit of the departed on their journey to heaven;
- ten doves released simultaneously offer a symbolic celebration of the life of a loved one and say a simple, fond farewell.