Choosing Funeral Flowers: A Guide to Expressing Condolences and Respect

Funerals are a time for reflection, mourning, and expressing our deepest sympathies to those who have lost a loved one. Flowers play a significant role in this solemn occasion, serving as a tribute to the deceased and offering comfort to the bereaved. Selecting appropriate funeral flowers involves understanding tradition, symbolism, and the preferences of the family. This guide provides thoughtful advice on choosing funeral flowers that honor the departed and convey your condolences with dignity and respect.

1. Understanding the Symbolism of Flowers

Different flowers and colors carry various meanings, particularly in the context of a funeral:

  • Lilies: Often associated with funerals, lilies symbolize the restored innocence of the soul of the departed.
  • Roses: While commonly linked to love, roses can also convey respect, love, and courage in a funeral setting. White roses symbolize reverence, humility, and innocence, while red roses denote love and grief.
  • Chrysanthemums: In many cultures, chrysanthemums are a traditional choice for funerals, symbolizing death and lamentation. In some European countries, they are exclusively used for funerals or on graves.
  • Carnations: These flowers are often used in funeral wreaths and standing sprays, with white carnations symbolizing pure love and innocence, and red ones denoting admiration.

2. Types of Funeral Flower Arrangements

Different types of floral arrangements serve various purposes in a funeral setting:

  • Wreaths: Circular floral arrangements that symbolize eternal life.
  • Sprays: Available in single-ended or double-ended designs, these are large arrangements displayed on an easel.
  • Baskets and Potted Plants: These can be taken home by family members after the funeral as a lasting tribute.
  • Casket Sprays: These are typically chosen by the immediate family to adorn the casket.

3. Consider Personal Preferences and Beliefs

It’s important to consider the deceased’s and their family’s preferences, beliefs, and traditions when choosing funeral flowers. The favorite flower of the departed, colors they loved, or types that reflect their personality can add a personal touch to your tribute.

4. Respect Cultural and Religious Traditions

Different cultures and religions have specific customs and traditions concerning funerals and flowers. For instance, while flowers are a common part of Christian funerals, some Eastern religions prefer incense and fruits. It’s crucial to be aware of and respect these traditions.

5. Choose a Respectful Message

The card accompanying your flowers should convey sympathy and respect. A simple message like, “With deepest sympathy,” or “Thinking of you in these difficult times,” can offer solace and support to the grieving family.

6. Coordinate with the Funeral Home

Before ordering flowers, check with the funeral home or the family about any specific preferences or restrictions regarding flower delivery times or types of arrangements. Some families may request charitable donations instead of flowers.

7. Quality and Presentation

Choose a reputable florist known for quality and professionalism. The presentation of your flowers at the funeral is a direct reflection of your respect and sentiments towards the deceased and their family.