For centuries, the presentation of flowers has served as a means of expression. We send flowers to express our love, congratulatory words, and of course, our sympathy and condolences. In times of death and loss, it can be quite difficult to come up with the right words to say, which is why so many like to lean on the gesture of sending sympathy flowers to show their love, support, and condolences. While funeral customs tend to vary depending on the family’s religion or ethnicity, sending flowers to the church, funeral home, or family’s home is an appropriate gesture in most cases.
Types of Funeral Floral Arrangements
When sending sympathy or funeral flowers, there are many options to choose from that vary from flower to type to arrangement design. To help you select the best funeral flower arrangement for your grieving loved ones, here are a few examples of what you can choose from:
- Sprays: Sprays are standing funeral flower arrangements that are typically placed on an easel. These arrangements are typically large in size and act as a beautiful tribute to the deceased.
- Wreaths: Wreaths are large, circular floral arrangements that represent eternal life. Like sprays, wreaths are placed on an easel for display.
- Traditional floral bouquets: From flower baskets to vases, traditional floral bouquets can be sent to the family. Common flowers that are used are lilies, carnations, roses, orchids, and chrysanthemums.
On average, sprays and wreaths are put on display at the various funeral services and, therefore, should be ordered and sent in a timely fashion. On the other hand, traditional floral arrangements can be sent to the home of the family at any time. However, if the obituary specifically states a donation to a charity in lieu of flowers, it’s the best option to respect their wish and forgo the sympathy flowers.
Looking at Faith and Culture
When sending sympathy flowers, it’s very important to consider one’s faith and culture first. While sending flowers is done out of the goodness of our hearts, in some cultures, it might not be deemed appropriate. If you are unsure, it’s always best to ask the closest family member or friend to help guide your decision. Here are a few floral guidelines according to faith:
- Catholic: Floral arrangements are widely accepted.
- Mormon: Floral arrangements are appropriate. Do avoid sending any that have a cross or crucifix.
- Eastern or Greek Orthodox: Flowers are accepted with white flowers being favored.
- Jewish: Many contemporary Jewish funerals will allow flowers to be displayed at the entrance of the synagogue; however, flowers are not normally displayed at the funeral home.
- Hindu: Flowers are acceptable, but garlands are a more favored option.
- Muslim: The appropriateness of flowers tend to range throughout Islamic cultures. It’s best to check with a family member first.
The message behind sympathy flowers is to celebrate life and pass on our condolences to the bereaved family. Flowers are meant to provide families with comfort and support during these difficult times. As a common courtesy, be sure to double check with family or friends of the deceased before sending flowers to ensure that it is the appropriate gesture.