Mourning Dove Symbolism: Exploring Its Peace and Power

Published October 30, 2020
Mourning Dove Perched on a Fence Post

The mourning dove symbolism is spiritual and powerful. A mourning dove is a symbol of spirit that delivers a message of hope to those suffering.

Understanding Mourning Dove Symbolism

While the mourning dove is often a symbol of sorrow and mourning, it symbolizes the same things as its white dove cousin. The mourning dove is, above all other symbolism, a spiritual messenger of peace, love, and faith.

Mourning Dove Spiritual Symbolism

There are several Biblical stories about the dove. These provide various spiritual meanings, especially hope. The dove's appearance to someone in mourning is often viewed as a visitation from the deceased loved one. The person in mourning senses a message of hope or encouragement from their deceased loved one. Others believe the mourning dove is a messenger sent by angels, spirit guides, or even God.

Noah's Ark and the Dove

In the Bible story of Noah's Ark and the Great Flood, Noah sends a dove out of the ark once the rains have stopped. He hopes the dove will find dry land and not return to Noah. Previously, Noah had sent a raven, but it returned to the Ark. He was surprised when the dove returned with an olive leaf clasped in its beak, indicating the waters had finally receded. The dove became a spiritual symbol of hope and new beginnings.

The dove returning to the ark

Why Is the Dove a Symbol of the Holy Spirit?

In addition to the story of Noah's Ark and the flight of the dove in search of dry land, the mourning dove is also considered a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells of the baptism of Jesus and the dove, which symbolizes the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible scripture of Matthew 3:16-17 states that when Jesus emerged from the baptismal waters that heaven opened up:

"…and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'"

Mourning Dove Meaning Love

In the story of Christ's baptism, it's easy to understand how the dove became a representative of God and God's eternal love. The gentleness and cooing of the mourning dove can soothe you and lift you from the sorrow of your mourning the moment you open your heart to its holy message.

A New Life for a New Beginning

Baptism marks a new life and a new beginning. While to other people, the appearance of a mourning dove is seen as an announcement to the bereaved, Christians see the mourning dove differently.

Promise of Eternal Life

To a Christian, the mourning dove may symbolize as a reminder of the promise of Jesus the Christ of life everlasting. The dove is sent to those in sorrow over the loss of a loved one as a way to say, the deceased has a new beginning in a different realm or world and continues to live after death.

What Does It Mean When a Mourning Dove Coos?

To hear the forlorn yet soothing cooing of a mourning dove is believed to be a call to seek and find inner peace. Some people sense the cooing of the mourning dove is a direct message from God.

Different Interpretations

Others believe it is a message from their deceased loved one reminding them to hold on to hope and not fear death. This message declares that death is just a new beginning. Still, other people take the soft cooing song of the mourning dove as a sign their loved one is watching over them and sending them the powerful energy of love.

What Does It Mean When a Dove Visits You?

The message of love, hope and peace is often conveyed in the appearance of a mourning dove. Depending on your spiritual belief, a visit from a mourning dove can be more than a message from a loved one. It can represent a messenger of love sent from God. The mourning dove might be sent to you during a time of crisis. You may be suffering through grief, or you may have emerged from grief and like the baptism of Christ, you are blessed with God's grace.

A Mourning Dove Comes to Visit

Mourning Dove a Symbol of Protection

Like the white dove, the mourning dove is often seen as a protective symbol. This messenger from God is seen as a symbol of God's love and protection.

Symbol of a Mourning Dove

You can understand mourning dove symbolism when you explore how people have reacted to its sudden appearance in their lives. Many people in mourning report the appearance of the mourning dove restored their hope and rekindled their faith.

Mourning Dove Symbolism: Exploring Its Peace and Power