Thursday, January 20, 2011

Memorial Doves

Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest- Psalm 55:6

Since the beginning of recorded history tranquility and peace have been associated with the dove.  The releasing of a dove at a memorial or funeral is an appropriate way of  saying goodbye, letting that person go to start their spiritual journey.

Our most popular release is our trinity release.  We have a chapel that is designed to hold three doves.  The doves represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The chapel doors are opened and the three birds fly and circle over the funeral attendees.  Then a heart shaped basket is opened which represents the spirit of the departed, which then joins the other three birds.  The four then circle and fly home.  It is a very moving experience.

Sometimes the number of doves is reflected in other ways, such as the number of children or grandchildren.  However many doves you choose for the release the symbolism can provide some peace and comfort.  With the release music or poetry is often used these two are my favorite.

I'm Free

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free
I'm following the path God has chosen 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.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I've now found peace at the end of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss'
Oh yes, these things, I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
Look for the sunshine of tomorrow.

My life's been full, I savored much;
Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.
Perhaps my time seems all to brief;
Don't lengthen your pain with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and peace to thee,
God wanted me now-- He set me free.

Author: Shannon Lee Moseley

White Doves

The white doves are taking flight.
It's my time to say good-bye.
I will not be here when you wake,
for my soul he had to take.

You might miss the smile on my face.
You might miss the words that I say.
but just sit and think a while,
for in your heart my memories lie.

I have a narrow road to travel.
The white doves will lead the way.
They will help ease my fears,
as I journey, this new place.

I am in a place of comfort.
The fear now is gone.
Put those things out of your thoughts,
in your memory I live on.

Remember not my fight for breath,
Remember not the strife
Please do not dwell upon my death
But celebrate my life.

Author Unknown

When the time comes and you are in the position of planning a funeral or memorial service consider the release of doves at the cemetery or location where the service is taking place.  If the service is in New Jersey, selected areas of eastern PA or NYC contact us for ideas and availability of our birds.  For about the price of a floral arrangement we have self release birds available, check out our site 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Should I release Butterflies or Doves after the Ceremony

I read an interesting article about the releasing of butterflies after wedding ceremonies that  I thought would be worth posting on my blog.  The article was put out by the North American Butterfly Association and it gave I thought at least some things to consider if you are going to have a butterfly release.

There's No Need to Release Butterflies -- They're Already Free

by Jeffrey Glassberg (president of NABA); Paul Opler (author of Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies); Robert M. Pyle (author of Audubon Society Field Guide to Butterflies); Robert Robbins (curator of Lepidoptera, Smithsonian Institution) and James Tuttle (president, (Lepidopterists' Society)
   Most fifth graders can tell you how the magnificent Monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles every autumn from the United States and Canada to a few small mountain tops in Mexico. There they find the right environmental conditions that allow them to survive the winter. With the advent of spring, they begin their return journey. This migratory phenomenon is truly a wonder of nature that sparks the imagination.
   Now imagine tens of thousands of mixed-up Monarchs unable to find the way to their overwintering grounds. This depressing image may become a reality if the rapidly-growing fad of releasing butterflies, including Monarch butterflies, at weddings, state fairs, and other public events continues to spread. Because the released Monarchs may have come from California, for instance, where they do not migrate to Mexico, their offspring may not be able to orient properly,. Because the Monarchs were raised inside under unnatural conditions, it is possible that their delicate migratory physiology may not have been turned on.
   Public interest in butterflies is increasing dramatically. We hope and expect this greater involvement with butterflies will eventually lead to much-needed support for butterfly conservation and studies, but the release of live butterflies is the dark side of this increase in popularity. Although this practice is understandable to naive newlyweds-to-be (what could be more beautiful than adding butterflies to the environment?) it is really a particularly long-lasting form of environmental pollution.
   Butterflies raised by unregulated commercial interests may spread diseases and parasites to wild populations, with devastating results. Often, butterflies are released great distances from their points of origin, resulting in inappropriate genetic mixing of different populations when the same species is locally present. When it is not, a non-native species is being introduced in the area of release. At best, this confuses studies of butterfly distribution and migration; at worst, it may result in deleterious changes to the local ecology. The Hollywood Jurassic park message, "Don't fool with Mother Nature," has scientific foundations. Recently a high profile report in Science magazine found that even the careful introduction of species for biological control often causes unexpected negative results.
   In addition, these releases create a commercial market for live butterflies (currently about $10/apiece), with the result that, for example, the Monarch overwintering sites in Mexico and on the California coast are now targets for poachers.
   Currently, the interstate shipment of live butterflies requires a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture but this law is not usually enforced. In general, the Dept. of Agriculture may issue a permit for shipping any of the following species: Monarch, Painted Lady, American Lady, Red Admiral, Giant Swallowtail, Gulf Fritillary, Zebra (Heliconian), and Mourning Cloak. Shipping Red Admirals, Giant Swallowtails, Gulf Fritillaries and Zebra (Heliconians) is particularly inappropriate because they are not naturally found over much of the United States.
   A solution that better serves the public interest with less regulatory burden is to ban the environmental release of commercially-obtained butterflies (we would exempt education institutions, although even here we would encourage schools to keep commercially-obtained butterflies within the confines of the school). The intentional release of native birds was outlawed in 1947. The time has come to do the same with butterflies.
   In addition to the above, many wedding planners now avoid butterflies at weddings because they not infrequently arrive dead, or half-dead. (See the recent article in the New York Times "Festive Release of Butterflies Puts Trouble in the Air" on page F4 of the Sept. 15, 1998 edition). Even if alive, they often will soon die because they are released at the wrong time of year, or at the wrong locality to survive.
   A truly beautiful and environmentally friendly way to celebrate a wedding is to throw rose petals. You can even use outdated roses from your florist.
--- Action You Can Take
Views of Other Organizations
Media Reports
Readers' Views

The conclusion one might come up with after reading this information is that a Dove release is safer on the environment and still weaves  the beauty of nature into the ceremony.  I invite you to ask us any questions about our birds, and if you are considering a dove release in NJ, the Philadelphia area or NYC, please call or email dovesforrelease @ and be sure to check out our website at

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rali and George's Wedding White Dove Release

I want to thank Rali and George for posting on U-Tube the video of their dove release which was 10/10/2010 at Antony & Cleopatra Caterers in Williamstown NJ.  It was a beautiful ceremony and we were pleased that we could provide the doves for the event.


Rali did some interesting things with the doves to get people involved, which I believe made her ceremony special because it was unique. Rali had a memorial table set with pictures of loved ones and she had her bridesmaid and best man release several birds in a black decorated basket in their memory instead of lighting candles, it was real touching.  Than finally she had the flower girl and ring bearer with other small children release a larger basket of doves to join the others.  It was a gorgeous evening and the birds added a special touch.

Often times before the birds are released there is a blessing or poem.  I would like to leave this with you.
The Legend of the Dove

Once the Lord of Heaven chose two doves, both young and fair.
And told them of a very special journey they would share.

"Go now upon the earth and see two hearts where you may dwell,
And there I shall surely come and make my home with you as well.

We'll join the two and make them one.  A Husband and a Wife,
My spirit will endow their love with everlasting life."

Today the Doves will bring sacred promise from above
To those whose hearts are open to the miracle of love.

If we can be of service for your white dove release needs call us at 609-758-5741 or check out our website at