Releasing doves at a funeral

Doves for a funeral

The number of people releasing doves for a funeral has grown over the last number of years. It is a service provided throughout the country.

Why do people release doves at a funeral?

Religious Association

Doves, specifically white doves  symbolise peace and purity in all of the main religions.  The Bible mentions doves over fifty times and most closely associates them with the Noah’s Ark story as follows:

Genesis 8:6-12 Noah Sends a Dove from the Ark as follows:

And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:

And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf and Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.

The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, when Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit took the form of a dove descending onto him.


Quite a few families release doves at a funeral as a symbol of releasing the soul of the person.

How many doves can I release?

It really depends on the wishes of the family and their religious affiliation, i.e. some families release three doves to represent the holy trinity.

You can release 1, 2, 3 up to six doves if you wish.

How much will it cost?

Again, it will depend on the number of doves that you want to release. You will need to contact a provider to get a quotation.



Most providers work within a 50 mile radius, so try to find a local provider, your funeral director will be able to help you find a provider.


The cost depends on the number of doves released. Always budget between £100-£120, again, you will need to get a quotation.

Who will release the doves?

A family member can release the doves, providers may not allow children to release doves as they may squeeze too tightly when holding them.  Always ask the provider.

There are many providers throughout the country, here is a link to one provider:

Below our Mourning Cross, we specifically designed the crosses and circle of life bereavement pins with the dove insert.

Mourningcross with dove