Oh, that I had wings like a dove! For then I would fly away and be at rest (Psalm 55:6)
For centuries doves have symbolized peace and love, and releasing a white dove at a funeral has become increasingly popular. It can bring comfort to mourners seeing doves rise into the sky as if transporting the soul of their loved one to heaven. It’s why Austin’s offer this service either at the funeral service, cremation at Harwood Park, burial or memorial service.
Last month it was reported that the trend for releasing doves could lead to a rise in the birds being left in the wild, with the RSPB saying that domesticated doves that haven’t been properly trained to return home are increasingly being sighted. For our dove release service we always use a reputable company, with homing doves that are trained to navigate their way home from distances of up to 60 miles.
At funerals, many people like to release a single white dove to symbolize the deceased’s journey onward. Others may choose a pair of doves – this marks the deceased taking their journey either with their guardian angel or with an already departed loved one, reuniting their souls in eternity. And then there are those who find comfort in releasing three doves – signifying the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit – followed by a fourth dove, for the parting spirit. Customers may also wish to release a flock of doves to represent the age of the deceased (up to 100 doves can be released).
With our dove release service, doves are placed ready in a white basket and an experienced dove handler will be there to help if you want to release the dove by hand yourself. Personal messages can be attached to the doves before they are set free into the sky.
Saying goodbye is never easy, but releasing a dove can offer a moving and memorable tribute to a loved one, and can be a peaceful and symbolic way of letting go.
* If you’d like more information about Austins dove release service, please get in touch on at any of our branches or Harwood Park Crematorium on 01438 815555.
Photo courtesy of The White Dove Company