A funeral service should be an end-of-life celebration that honors the life lived and reflects the person’s unique personality. Funeral homes offer many special features and options for a truly unique memorial service. One popular tribute is a white dove release, an interactive part of the ceremony that allows the family to say a final farewell and begin the healing process.

Significance of the dove release
White doves have been culturally significant throughout history, all over the world, and are still considered a symbol of peace, love and serenity. In ancient Greece and Rome, white doves represented honesty, loyalty and devotion, which is why they were given as gifts. During weddings, the groom would give the bride a dove to symbolize his promise to take care of her family. In many cultures, doves were traditionally released at funerals to symbolize the homeward flight of the spirit.

Logistics of the dove release
If you’re concerned about the welfare of the doves, don’t worry: White dove releases only involve trained birds. It’s possible for trained homing birds to find their way back home over a distance of 600 miles. However, for a funeral, white doves likely won’t have far to go to get back to their home. It should be noted that trained birds can only be released on a clear day and there must be a reasonable amount of time before the sun sets. Doves cannot navigate after dark.

Releasing the doves
The trained release coordinator may release the doves if that’s preferred, but many people prefer to release the birds themselves. There’s something thrilling about letting go of a white dove and watching it soar to freedom. That feeling of letting go can help you feel better able to cope with the loss of your loved one, giving you a sense of closure and putting you on the path to healing. If you do choose to release the dove yourself, the coordinator will guide you in the safe, gentle handling of the bird.

The Flight Home® Ceremony offered by Chapel of the Chimes Hayward is a beautiful tribute to loved ones who have passed on. Visit our memorial park in Hayward, and let us know how we can help you plan a thoughtful and touching funeral ceremony that could include a white dove release. Call us at (510) 398-6922.