Tips for Choosing the Right Type of Flowers for a Funeral

By: Myles O'Riordan
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sending flowers to a funeral has been in practice for 62,000 years. It’s one of mankind’s oldest traditions. Flowers carry special meanings and can often act as symbols used to respect the dead and comfort the bereaved.

But did you know that specific flowers have specific meanings?

Roses Mean More than Love

Roses are often used to mark other special occasions in life and are no different when it comes to funerals. A red rose symbolizes love, while a white rose symbolizes purity and innocence. Sending yellow roses to a funeral represents the bond of friendship and dark pink roses express thankfulness and reverence for the deceased.

Most Popular: The Lily

As the most widely sent flower for funerals, lilies represent purity and virginity. The lily symbolizes that the deceased soul as returned to an innocent and childlike state in death. Christians also believe this flower was used to cover the Virgin Mary’s tomb, making it one of the most popular flowers for funeral arrangements in the Christian faith.

A Very Versatile Carnation

This flower is another popular funeral choice. Ideal for wreaths and other arrangements, carnations of different colours represent different things. For example, a red carnation can symbolize love while a pink carnation symbolizes innocence. In the Christian faith, it is believed that pink carnations were created from the Virgin Mary’s tears, making them appropriate for funerals.

The Sincerest of Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums or just “mums” are often used in flower arrangements as they represent sincerity and loyalty to the deceased. Often, florists will use pastel coloured or green mums for arrangements.

Other Common Flower Meanings

While roses, lilies, carnations and chrysanthemums are among the most common flowers that are sent to funerals, many other flowers convey sympathy and emotions appropriate for a burial.

The crocus flower is used to remember someone who brought lots of cheer and joy to the lives of others while magnolias represent beauty and love of nature. To honour someone who had a strong personality and moral integrity, using gladioli to remember them is best.

White camellias and daffodils are flowers that represent innocent love and are often used to memorialize a child. Red camellias and orchids can symbolize passion and perfect love. This is ideal for a partner or spouse.

Endless Combinations with Arrangements

When deciding on flowers to send to a funeral, noting the symbolism in the flowers is the best way to choose the right kind. But that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself.

Since flowers are often used to say things that are difficult, or express emotions that cannot be vocalized, creating an arrangement of several varieties is often the best way to solidify complex feelings.

When thinking about what kind of arrangement to send, feel free to talk to your florist about the message you want to convey. They will have the expertise and know-how to create a beautiful and symbolic arrangement to honour the deceased.

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