Syrian Crisis Dove Release Ceremonies

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After the shocking images of the worsening Syrian refugee crisis burst into our collective consciousness recently, Creating Ceremony joined forces with Lambert’s White Dove Release to hold a series of short reflection ceremonies after MNC networking meetings throughout October. These were intended to raise awareness of the crisis, collect money for the Red Cross and help those present to process their feelings of grief and helplessness.

We held four ceremonies altogether, in Shoreham, Lewes, Worthing and Arundel. They were well attended and there was lots of positive feedback. Two of the ceremonies, Worthing and Arundel, were filmed by Ian Moore of Reel Life Edits, who kindly put together films of the events for us.The Worthing one is below, and you can see the (rather wet!) Arundel ceremony-in-a-downpour here.

And here are the words:

Most of us here are parents. And, as parents, the empathy we feel when refugee children like Aylan Kurdi are washed up dead on shorelines is almost unbearable.

The Somali poet, Warsan Shire, wrote this about the terror of the refugees:

“i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans

Whilst the warmongers are at their art and the politicians discuss in circles, what can we do but feel pain for those families who are torn apart?

We can shift our focus from death and destruction to love, hope and new beginnings.

Aylan, we couldn’t reach you and your fellow young seekers of safety.

We couldn’t pluck you out of the water, wrap you up in blankets and cuddle you better.

But what we can do is to support those who are at the frontline to help the families that come after you, the people who remain, who make it, battered and broken, to a new start in a new home.

And we can release these doves, symbols of hope and freedom, along with our intentions for change and our prayers that your onward journey be a peaceful one.

As parents, we send with them our love for you who have died, for those children who remain, for all children.

This ceremony may seem like nothing in the face of such a big crisis. But little steps become journeys, and our destination is peace.

Let us intend for the wingbeats of these doves to send ripples of positive, healing energy across the planet, bringing peace wherever there is conflict.

Please quietly send out your prayers and intentions with the doves as we watch them fly and let’s keep this reflective space for a few more minutes

(Doves are released; people watch for a minute or so of silence)

“you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land”

Do not cry and worry for me

Like the dove, I have been set free.


If you would like to donate to the Red Cross appeal, please click here.