Dove Symbolism, Meaning of the Dove Symbol
Dove symbolism has been around for hundreds of years. This page will give you the history and the meaning of the dove symbol. Doves, which are in fact domesticated rock pigeons, are a well known Christian symbol of love and peace.
The story of Noah's ark is one of the best examples of how the dove symbol was integrated in Christian history as a symbol of peace. In the biblical story, a dove was released by Noah after the flood in order to find dry land, the dove came back carrying an olive leaf in its mouth, this fact let Noah know that there was dry land nearby. Ever since then Christians have used Noah's dove as a symbol for peace. There have been other stories that predate Noah's ark that relate the dove with peace, but the most important beginning of the dove as a symbol for peace was the Noah's ark story.
In Christian beliefs, a dove also symbolizes the Holy Spirit, this is in reference to a couple of important biblical stories where the Holy Spirit is shown as a dove descending from heaven at the baptism of Jesus. In Rome early Christians incorporated the dove into their funerary art, the image of a dove carrying an olive branch often joined by the word "Peace"was used. It would seem that the early Christians derived this symbolism from the Gospels, they combined the symbol of the dove with the symbol of the olive branch, this symbol has been used to represent peace by the Greeks and Romans.
The dove and olive branch have also appeared many times in Christian images of Noah's ark.
Doves are sometimes released at Christian weddings as a symbol of taking flight, it is a beautiful gesture which symbolizes a new beginning of something wonderful. The doves are accustomed to being away from their homes, and they fly back home after leaving the scene of the marriage ceremony. Rock pigeons are capable of flying over such short distances, but on occasion doves may be distracted by finding a mate or they may be caught by a predator.
Doves have often been used and are still used as a concept of peace and pacifism. Doves often appear in political cartoons, on banners and signs at events promoting peace (such as the Olympic Games, and at protests.), and in pacifist literature. A person who is a pacifist is at times referred to as a dove.
Here are several good examples of the dove symbol as it has been used in the past to promote peace, love, or pacifism.
Dove symbol for peace.
The Dove is a symbol of the Catholic sacrament of Confirmation.
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