It is more than just a tradition to send flowers for a funeral, it is a way of expressing your sympathy and care for the bereaved. Whether you are sending a wreath for the service, to be laid on the grave or a sympathy bouquet for loved ones as a message that you are thinking of them, funereal flowers all have different meanings and can bring a little light and colour into an otherwise very sad time.
Every flower that you choose can be carefully selected to express a particular sentiment. Our rich flower language gives every well-wisher to opportunity to pass on a meaningful, sympathetic message. As well as the symbolism, however, you can also choose the departed’s favourite blooms or even their birth flower. It’s a very personal thing and a very poignant gift that it is worth putting some thought into.
Do check however that the family are open to receiving flowers at the funeral. Check newspaper in memoriam and funeral notices, and with the church or funeral home. Some people would prefer a donation to be made to a favourite charity, particularly for research if the deceased died from a certain condition. The mourning wife or husband may feel it more appropriate and fitting to use donations for a very positive cause.
The most commonly associated flower for funerals is the lily. In fact, some people are so superstitious that they will not allow lilies in their home under other circumstances. However, they traditionally mean innocence: the innocence of the departed soul now that they have passed on to the next world. White lilies as opposed to colourful Asiatics are the most appropriate, and white star gazers denote your sympathy. They are a beautiful, pure and majestic plant that are very fitting for a traditional service.
Roses, the international flower symbolising love, is also pure beauty which can add an awful lot to an funeral arrangement. There are different meanings for different colours. Red is the colour for love and strength; fortitude through a difficult time. The very deep crimsons are for sorrow and grief. Yellow is for continued friendship, while pink is for love and grace. White is for innocence and reverence. A single rose is often laid atop a coffin, to show the never-ending love for the friend or family member and is a very poignant part of a burial.
Chrysanthemums, or mums, may be a joyful, abundant flower for many. However all over Europe, they are also a symbol of dying and in some countries are only seen on graves. In Asia, the white mum is for grief and lamentation. All over the world they have different meanings. Whilst largely seen as positive and bringing cheer in the United States of America, in New Orleans they signify death. As one of the last blooming flowers of the year, they are particularly suited for winter funerals.
Gladioli, with their incredible tall stems and many side flowers, make an extremely beautiful and elegant display. The gladiolus has long symbolised moral virtue and strength, sincerity and steadfastness. It is therefore very fitting for both the deceased and the mourners. There are a huge number of flower colours to choose from and, though perhaps not as traditional as the lily, they certainly rival them in beauty appeal.
The modest perennial favourite, the carnation, is very popular. It lasts very well and so will serve as a longer reminder in the cemetery. They keep their smell and many love their small, perfectly formed flower heads. Their meaning is also highly appropriate, with pink carnations (also known as pinks) signifying remembrance. Red carnations mean admiration, while the white is for innocence and the purity of love.