14 Dove Poems for Funerals or Memorial Services

Updated

Doves are symbolic of love or peace. They are also viewed as creatures that carry messages from the world beyond. Additionally, doves are present in texts of many world religions. And birds and wings are also used in imagery involving the afterlife. 

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You might be searching for a dove funeral poem for any of these reasons. Or, your deceased loved one may simply have liked this type of bird. Regardless, here are some poems that mention doves or birds. 

Poems About Doves for a Parent or Grandparent’s Funeral

When choosing a funeral poem for your mom or (dad), you might select a piece about death, grief, and loss. There are also many popular funeral poems written from the deceased’s perspective that give hope and peace to the reader.

However, a funeral poem doesn’t have to be about death. Instead, it can be a piece that was beloved by the deceased or their family. 

We will try to include different types of poems on our list – some about death and some about doves.

1. “Sending a Dove to Heaven” by Unknown

Are you doing a dove release to conclude your loved one’s celebration of life? Here’s a poem to read or print in the program.

“So I am sending
a dove to heaven
with a parcel on its wings
be careful when you open it
It’s full of beautiful things
Inside are a million kisses
wrapped up in a million hugs
To say how much I miss you
and to send you all my love.”

2. “Mother and Child” by Julie Johnson

This piece is written for a Christian funeral of a mother and child. The two are carried to heaven on the “wings of a dove.”

“Our loved ones do not weep and worry of us.
We’re being carried to the arms of our precious Jesus.
Just my baby and me on the wings of a dove
The angels are waiting in the heavens above.
To take us to our mansion just beyond those pearly gates
To help us get settled in where there, we will wait.
For our loved ones to join us above in heaven’s nursery
to see the miracle of eternal life and feel the power of God’s mercy.”

3. “Wait For Me” by Unknown

This poem was written for a dove release at a funeral since the last part of the poem states: “Today we rejoice as we set this dove free.”

“Remember Mom’s smile
And her love of all things
Bright red flowers
And the dove’s white wings.
Through time she travels
To do God’s will
Such a beautiful face
I can see it still.
Of all things proper
She filled her heart
And God’s love was there
From the very start.
Today we rejoice
As we set this dove free
She has met her savior
Mom, wait for me!”

Poems About Doves for a Sibling’s Funeral

There are few well-known goodbye poems written explicitly for brothers or sisters. However, here are a few that might work for your situation.

4. “The Flight” by Unknown

Are you looking for another option of poetry to read during a dove release? This poem reminds us that even though their body is still present, your loved one’s soul has taken flight.

“Now dry your tears and look above
For soon, there will fly a pure white dove.
I ask for a moment before setting her free,
To listen to these words and think of me:

As your days on this beautiful earth pass by,
Don’t be afraid to love, and don’t be afraid to cry.
Because even though I am gone from sight,
Remember, it was only my body
That couldn’t take flight.”

5. “I’m Free” by Anne Lindgren Davison

This famous funeral poem doesn’t mention doves, but it does refer to the freedom or release that follows a death.

It begins: 

“Don’t grieve for me, for now, I’m free, 
I’m following the path God laid for me. 
I took His hand when I heard Him call, 
I turned my back and left it all. 
I could not stay another day, 
To laugh, to love, to work, or play.”

6. “The Doves” by Harriet McEwen Kimball

This poem has nothing to do with death. Instead, it is an homage to the dove – beautiful busy creatures that live among us.

The poem begins:

“Pretty doves, so blithely ranging
Up and down the street;
Glossy throats all bright hues changing
Little scarlet feet!”

Poems About Doves for a Partner or Spouse’s Funeral

Unfortunately, the fog of grief sometimes makes it challenging to choose funeral songs and poems. That’s why Cake provides many poetry lists – we want to make life easier for you during your difficult time. 

Here are some funeral poems about doves for your spouse or partner's funeral. 

7. “The Escort” by Unknown

If you like the idea of a dove escorting the deceased to the afterlife, this is the poem for you. It is written from the perspective of a person who is dying.

“If I must leave this world today,
Please find a dove to show me the way.
For the sky has its eternal space,
Find me a dove who knows this place.
I will not fear to lose the sight,
Of this bird’s perfect pure white.
Let her fly and circle free.
Look close behind her, and you might see me.
We will depart at Heaven’s door
Where I will find peace
Forever more.
If I must leave this world today,
Find a dove
To show me the way.”

8. “Birdwings” by Rumi

While this poem about grief may not be as accessible as others on our list, you might consider it for your loved one’s funeral. 

Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet and Islamic scholar. 

9. “Wings of a Dove” by Henry Van Dyke

We love this poem by American author Henry Van Dyke. Even though his poem, “Gone From My Sight,” is typically read at funerals, this selection reminds the reader of the peace and love that can be found at home.

In the first part of the poem, the speaker is jealous of the dove that is flying away for an adventure. The speaker cries:

“Pilgrim of air, I cried, could I but borrow
Thy wandering wings, thy freedom blest,
I’d fly away from every careful sorrow,
And find my rest.”

However, in the second part of the poem, the speaker realizes that the dove flew home. The response is as follows:

“Peace, heart of mine! no longer sigh to wander;
Lose not thy life in barren quest.
There are no happy islands over yonder;
Come home and rest.”

Poems About Doves for a Child’s Funeral

The loss of a child calls for the tenderest of poems. So here are two that refer to flying and wings. 

10. “Little Dove” by Christy Ann Martine

The word “little” implies the loss of a child. However, this poem can be used for anyone’s funeral.

“Little Dove I love you so
but I know you have to go.
So spread your wings
and fly my love,
soar above the world my dove.
Paint the sky in indigo,
let your graceful colors flow,
and I’ll search the sky
for your rainbow.”

11. “The White Chariot” by Julie Johnson

This poem can be used for a Christian funeral for a child. 

“During your journey on your final flight home.
White wings will carry you, and you will be flown
to the pearly gates of Heaven, where they will usher you in
to the feet of your Lord, your Saviour, and your friend.
He will hold you in his arms, and the angels will sing.
As another one of His children is delivered by white wings.”

Poems About Doves for a Friend’s Funeral

Being asked to read a poem at a friend’s funeral is an honor. Sometimes the family will provide the poem, but sometimes it will be up to you to find one on your own. 

12. “I Am Still With You” by Unknown

Do you sometimes feel the comforting presence of your deceased loved one? This poem doesn’t mention a dove, but it does encourage the reader to “hold a feather” as a reminder that your loved one may be near you. Some families distribute feathers or other tokens at funeral services.

“Hold this feather close and know it’s true,
that I am always here with you.”

13. “Carry Me Home” by Lee Gilley

Did your friend suffer an extended illness before they died? This poem is written from the perspective of the deceased, who, like the dove, has been set free. 

“My loved ones do not cry
And worry of me
For like the dove
I have been set free.
God has called me
To my mansion on high
Just there among the clouds
In the deep blue sky.
I have no pain
No suffering to do
I have been called home
And I know you will too.
So beat hard and fast
Little wings off white
And carry me home
Before the night.”

14. “To Those Whom I Love; And To Those Who Love Me” by Mary Alice Ramish

Please note that this poem doesn’t include a dove. However, since it includes the line “release me,” we thought it would make sense on this particular list. 

The poem begins:

“When I am gone, release me, let me go
I have so many things to see and do
You must not tie yourself to me with tears
Be happy that I have had so many years
I gave you my love, you can only guess
How much you gave me in happiness.”

Doves Make Beautiful Symbols for a Funeral

Dove imagery is widely available in the funeral industry. You can purchase an urn that features a dove or place the image of a dove going home inside your loved one’s casket. In addition, your funeral bulletins or prayer folders can feature a dove, and you can hire companies to do a dove release at the end of the service. 


Source:
  1. “Funeral Poems.” White Feather Company. Thewhitefeatherco.co.uk. Accessed 16 February 2022.

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