A dove release at a funeral or memorial has become a beautiful tradition to commemorate the life of a departed loved one. Not only does a dove release bring a feeling of peace and comfort, but it also carries with it significant meaning.
The symbolism of doves has relevance in many cultures and religious beliefs. It dates back as early as the Ancient Egyptians who thought of the dove as a symbol of quiet innocence. The Ancient Chinese looked at the dove as a symbol of peace and long life. In the Greek and Roman cultures, doves represented love, devotion, and care for one’s family.
Doves are also depicted multiple times throughout the Bible. Two of the most notable references are the stories of Noah and the Great Flood in Genesis 8:11 and the Baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3:16. Throughout Scripture, the dove represents love, loyalty, fidelity, and honesty, as well as the Holy Spirit.
Many have associated doves with a maternal image, as well. Doves are known for being quite nurturing. For this reason, the dove is also associated with several mother figures. Commonly seen in Christian art with the Virgin Mary, the dove is known as a symbol of care, devotion, purity, and peace. The dove is also a companion of Ishtar, the Great Mother of Assyrian culture, signifying the promise of hope and salvation.
In more modern times, the image of the dove has become an international symbol of peace. In 1949, Picasso’s lithograph, la Colombe (the Dove), was chosen as the emblem for the World Peace Congress in Paris. Today, doves are widely seen as symbols for many organizations advocating for peace.
At a remembrance ceremony, a dove release helps to begin the grieving process. The letting go of the doves signifies the “letting go” of the loved one. A dove release is also inspirational for those attending a funeral or memorial as it beautifully and peacefully honors the memory of the deceased.
Whatever your beliefs, a dove release can be a perfect addition to a remembrance ceremony. At Mountain View Funeral Home, we can help you to include a dove release into a funeral or memorial service. It is a wonderful way to provide comfort and peace, as well as honor the memory of your loved one.