What Is The Symbolism Of Mourning Doves?

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When it comes to doves there is a wealth of symbolism that you can get from them. One of the most important doves for spiritual meaning is mourning doves.

What Is The Symbolism Of Mourning Doves

Whenever you see a mourning dove, you may not immediately think of its symbolism if you’re not superstitious or a believer.

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In this article we’re here to lay out some of the meanings that a mourning dove can bring, so you know exactly what to look out for in the future.

About Mourning Doves

Also called rain doves or colloquially as turtle doves, these birds can be found almost everywhere.

It is commonly found in North America and southern Canada. The mourning dove has also been spotted a few times in the British Isles and was introduced to Hawaii in 1963.

As a species, the mourning dove is particularly friendly and frequently visits backyards. They’re typically light gray or light brown in color.

One of the reasons that mourning doves can symbolize love is that they’re monogamous.

They mate for life and will mourn their partner when they pass away. They got their name due to their haunting and sad cry.

Symbolism In Christianity

The dove’s symbolism in Christianity is mainly due to the role it plays in the story of Noah’s ark.

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In the story, Noah sends out the dove to find dry land after the flood.

The hope is that the dove doesn’t return as it has settled down on land.

Instead the dove returns and is holding an olive leaf. Due to this story, the dove means hope and new beginnings in Christianity. 

The dove can also be a symbolism for God’s love, a sign that he is always with you.

That your faith in God is always there during times of crisis.

Symbol Of Peace

Throughout history, mourning doves have been shown to signify peace.

They are promising good luck and optimism. They typically arrive at the end of turmoil to signify the beginning of tranquil times.

Mourning doves are a sign of compassion amongst people. A sign to reach out to those around you and seek comfort in them.

It is a good thing when you see a dove, both out in the open and in the media.

Doves have been a part of many cultures and can be seen in their paintings and depictions of what’s important.

Mourning doves represent love around you, and also love from the spirit world.

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Symbol Of Mourning

Whenever people hear the name, they assume that the mourning dove is a sign of bad luck.

Many people have mistakenly believed them to be an omen of death. That is not the case.

Mourning doves are for the bereaved and those going through a tough time.

A mourning dove could be a visit from a passed loved one, to show that you’re not alone and that you need to celebrate your own life.

Doves have always been believed to have a connection to the spirit world.

A gray dove can also be a sign of friendship and companionship through hard times.

Mourning doves can be the gentle company you need when going through difficult circumstances.

The dove can help to guide us when we feel alone, they can show you that any trauma or pain you have can be healed.

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What It Means When You See One

Depending on when you see a dove, it could have different meanings:

  • On a wedding day – It means that you are destined for a happy marriage and a long life together. This is why doves are typically released at weddings.
  • At a funeral or just after a loved one’s passing – A connection to a recently passed loved one. The doves can help you through the mourning process.
  • During difficult times – It is a sign that you must rise above the situation. It also gives you hope that you will overcome whatever obstacles you’re currently facing.

Many have found that seeing a dove during these times is a life altering experience.

It is a common misconception that a mourning dove should be a cause of concern, whereas a white dove is a positive symbol.

The truth is that a mourning dove is just as positive and also carries other meanings, none of which are a cause of concern.

Dove Calls

While the actual dove itself has a lot of meaning, the ‘cooing’ of a dove can also mean something.

The most common interpretation is what gave the mourning birds their iconic name, and that is as a cry of sorrow.

What Is The Symbolism Of Mourning Doves

It is believed that the cry was supposed to evoke memories of a lost loved one.

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A more optimistic symbol of the cry is that it is a direct message from a loved one.

It can mean that you shouldn’t fear death and should instead hold onto hope.

Main Meanings


While it may not be easy, sometimes forgiveness is necessary in order to heal.

When you are able to forgive, a large weight is lifted from both your shoulders and the person you forgave. 

Moving On

While a mourning dove can be a symbolism of grief, it is usually seen as a sign to move on.

While the pain of a loss one will never go away, it will fade. Sometimes it may feel like the bereavement period is all consuming in your life, it is important to keep moving forward.


Like all doves, mourning doves symbolize peace. Specifically peace within oneself.

This could mean taking the higher road in order to achieve this peace, or simply easing your mind of turmoil.

Purify Your Thoughts

In this day and age, it is common amongst the general populace to concern yourself with unimportant matters.

A dove can be your sign to calm your thoughts and focus on what’s important to you.

Sometimes all you need to do is centralize your thoughts in order to come up with a solution.

Stay Strong

The ability to stay strong in front of opposition is pivotal to staying true to yourself. You need to be able to face everything with courage.

Staying strong is not about fighting back, it is about staying positive and friendly no matter what.

Symbolism In Other Cultures And Religions


The symbolism of doves in African culture is one of good fortune. They represent something positive is about to happen in your life.

They show a need to reciprocate, that when you help someone, they will help you in turn.


The celts believe that the gods living amongst us in nature, and if you saw one then you received an invitation from them,

Doves in particular were symbols of good luck and they would wear the feathers to carry that luck around with them.


Since doves are monogamous, they have been associated with the promise of long life. Doves are also revered for how well they take care of their young.

You can find them depicted in lots of art and designs throughout Chinese history.


The cultural practice of sacrificing animals to repent was common in early Judaism.

The poorer families, who couldn’t afford to sacrifice larger animals, would sacrifice a pair of doves. This has led doves to be a symbol of repentance.

Native American

Mourning doves in Native American culture symbolize love and protection.

They’re sometimes seen as the earthly manifestation of deceased relatives who have come back in order to share wisdom.

They were believed to be a sign of protection during times of war, and represented the hope for a safe return from battle.

Mourning Dove was the pen name for one of the first published Native American women authors, Christine Quintasket.

Roman And Greek

The Roman and Greek goddesses of love, Venus and Aphrodite, are typically depicted with doves.

Due to this, doves have come to symbolize love. This is also true with western culture as the nickname ‘lovey-dovey’ is commonly used to describe infatuated and affectionate couples. 

Meaning In Dreams

Doves in dreams don’t necessarily have a large spiritual meaning like other objects or animals.

They generally represent beauty, innocence and luck. They are a sign that you should be thankful for the life you are currently living.

Similar to their meaning in reality, a dove appearing in your dreams is a symbol of friendship.

Doves can show that you aren’t alone and there is always someone to reach out to.

If you see a pair of doves in your dream, this means you are happy in love.

This could mean romantic love or that you feel stable in your home life.

Specifically dreaming of a mourning dove sitting on a bed could be the foretelling of loss in your family.

Or if just generally see a mourning dove then it could be a sign from a loved one to move on.

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Curious about what the future holds? Get a FREE Psychic Reading and explore your Life possibiites!

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