A release of doves refers to a ceremonial freeing of a dove and watching it fly away.
The preferred type of release doves are homing pigeons; some strains are specifically bred for ceremonial release.
Common memorial dove release ceremonies include:
•the "Spirit," in which a single dove is released; •the "Trinity," the release of four doves -- the Trinity (3) plus the Spirit Dove (1). The significance is that it symbolizes the spirit of the deceased being "guided" by the Trinity on its final journey;
•the "12 Dove," in which a single dove is first released, followed by 12 doves.