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Guide to Choosing the Right Funeral Flowers

Flowers are like a second language, as each species symbolizes a different emotion or meaning. While choosing the appropriate flower can be difficult in such distressing times, it can significantly aid the bereavement process. Eulogizing a friend or loved one with flowers may be one of the longest-running traditions in the UK; however, that doesn't make the selection process any easier when the time comes to make that all-important decision, without any prior knowledge, you'll most likely be at a complete loss.

Traditionally, flowers are a way to represent growth, new life, and movement forward. The natural beauty of condolence flowers at a funeral and mourners' home brings a sense of warmth and comfort to the environment.

Today, flowers are not mandatory for funerals, but they are an appropriate way to express love for the deceased and concern for family members. Flowers can be ordered from a florist and delivered to the funeral home or residence.

Flowers for a funeral should arrive at the funeral home before the first visitation hours, so the arrangement is there to greet the family when it arrives. If time does not permit delivery before visiting hours, you can send flowers or plants to the home of the bereaved. A potted plant has an obvious symbolic meaning because it will continue to live and grow. Check out our extensive list of Melbourne Funeral Services to help you arrange a funeral for your loved one.

Types of Funeral Flower Arrangements

It only takes one glance at the altar of a typical funeral to know that flower arrangement are not created equally. You might see everything from a small basket of flowers to large, dramatic florals in sweeping designs displayed on stands. We've outlined the different types of funeral flower arrangements you can choose from. 

Wreath

Funeral wreaths can be breathtakingly beautiful. They can be designed with a variety of flowers or just one or two types for dramatic effect. The circular shape of a funeral wreath, while hardly unique, is said to represent the circle of life or eternal life in a religious setting. Wreaths make a great choice for funeral flower arrangements since they're portable; they can easily be removed from the funeral home and brought to the gravesite to make both places more beautiful. 

Cross

A cross is designed similarly to a funeral wreath. Only it's in the shape of a cross instead of a wreath. It would be a popular choice if the person who died was particularly religious. 

Casket Spray

Those stunningly beautiful flowers that cascade across the top of a casket? That's a casket spray, and no funeral seems complete without one. Because this arrangement lies so close to the person who has died, casket sprays are often made of a certain flower (or two) that was particularly meaningful for them. You'll often hear something like, "Pink roses were Aunt Mary's favourite" if you inquire about a casket spray. After the burial, it's customary to leave the casket spray on the gravesite in remembrance. Or, you could offer close family members a single flower from it to have as a keepsake. 

Easel Spray

An easel spray is likely the first thing that comes to mind when you think of funeral flowers. It's the dramatic floral display that sits on an easel. These beautiful arrangements are often made of the most popular funeral flowers, like roses, lilies and carnations. Note, however, that they're best viewed from the front only since they're made to rest flat against an easel. So if the funeral calls for a more 360-degree arrangement, you might want to opt for a basket or vase of flowers. 

Basket

One of the most versatile funeral flower arrangements, a basket is a perfect way to honour someone who has died. Typical basket arrangements are composed of flowers representing death or common at funerals, like lilies or gladiolus. They can range in size from very large to very small, and are quite portable, too. 

Types of Funeral Flowers

Wondering what types of buds to use on all those beautiful funeral flower arrangements? There's more to it than you might think! While there aren't many hard and fast rules (though there are some cultural guidelines to consider), certain flowers are used more commonly than others at funerals. Here at Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals, we provide religious and traditional funeral services.  

Lily

The lily is one of the most common flowers that represent death. As such, you'd be hard-pressed to attend a funeral without seeing a lily. According to 1-800-Flowers, "white lilies symbolize innocence, the rebirth of the soul, and purity."

Carnation

These florals are as inexpensive as they are pretty, making them the perfect choice for large floral displays that contain a variety of flowers. When it comes to carnations, white symbolises innocence, red is said to refer to love and admiration, and pink is the colour of remembrance. 

Gladiolus

These tall flowers are great for sprays, where flowers of differing heights come together to create a visually stunning arrangement of sympathy flowers. These pretty flowers that come in many bright shades are said to indicate the strength of character, a wonderful compliment to the person who has died. 

Rose

One of the most popular flowers globally, the rose certainly has a place among flowers that represent death. The deep red symbolises sorrow and is often seen in funeral flower arrangements, along with white roses, which symbolize innocence. 

Flower Colors and Their Meanings

If it seems like the same colours keep popping up at funerals over and over, it's because these colours tend to hold meaning when they're used as part of funeral flower arrangements—sympathy flowers. Below, we'll take a look at some of the most common colours florists use when arranging flowers to be used as a remembrance for funerals. 

  • White: Whether used alone or in conjunction with another colour, white flowers are the most commonly used funeral flowers. Not only do white flowers tend to mean innocence and purity, it so happens that almost all of the most commonly used flowers at funerals—lilies, roses, carnations and mums—can be white.
  • Red: Red flowers, especially deep, velvety reds like roses, conjures thoughts of love and grief. Roses are a popular choice for funerals, but you could also opt for dramatic red mums or red carnations.
  • Yellow: Yellow is a colour that's universally associated with friendship. Think this cheery colour is a no-go for a funeral? Think again! Many of the most touching arrangements have at least a splash of yellow mixed in. Yellow gladiolus is particularly apropos for funeral flowers.
  • Lavender: Meaning respect and humility, lavender flowers make a lovely choice as part of a funeral flower arrangement.
  • Blue: The colour of sorrow. There's always a place for blue flowers when you're selecting sympathy flowers. Delphinium and larkspur are popular options.

Funeral Wreaths and Funeral Arrangements

There are many different options to choose from when it comes to funeral flower arrangements. Usually, the only immediate family will choose the funeral wreaths and sprays displayed with the casket during the memorial service. These arrangements are often set up to decorate the space.

Wreaths may be made of any type of flower and tend to be one colour. Most people choose a simple white or cream flower to represent the innocence of the departed soul. In some cases, the wreath may comprise favourite colours or pastels, particularly for a child's funeral. Wreaths can be hung, laid atop the casket, or set on an easel.

Sprays are bouquets with longer stems of flowers standing out the back of the arrangement. These may be presented on an easel or presented atop the casket. When it comes to casket flowers, sprays are the most common option, as they cover much of the casket.

Living plants are another option and can be kept for the family after the funeral. They may also choose to plant the flowers atop the grave once the funeral is over. If you are giving living plants, it's a good idea to choose something that will not die after a single bloom. Orchids and hydrangeas are excellent choices for this. Plants in containers will usually be displayed on the floor around the coffin.

Formed funeral flowers are another option. You may choose for the flowers to be arranged in the shape of a cross, heart, angel, or just about any other shape you might want. This adds a special touch and is usually done by someone in the immediate family. They may be hung, set on an easel, or placed on the casket.

Casket inserts are special and chosen by the family closest to the deceased. These are smaller arrangements placed inside the casket or in one corner to give a little dash of colour. They're often available in colour and can contrast the white satin of the casket's interior. It is your decision if you want to leave the flowers in the casket for the burial.

Finally, a bouquet is a beautiful cluster of flowers and greenery, often in a basket or vase, placed on a table or the floor near the casket. There are plenty of options here, and they can use nearly any type of flower or a number of different ones.

6 Reasons Why Funeral Flowers are as Important as Condolence Money

It has long been established that flowers make an ideal tribute for the deceased. You often see arrangements of flowers being displayed during wakes, memorial services or burials. This goes to show that giving flowers during funerals has been tightly embraced in Filipino traditions.

However, some might have second thoughts about giving flowers for the funeral and opt for condolence money. While cash can be good financial support, florals as funeral tokens give a far deeper value that money can't provide. 

Here are the reasons why you should not neglect to give funeral flowers as much as you're willing to offer cash donations. Need help in planning a funeral service? Check out Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals in Melbourne.

Funeral Flowers Have Greater Sentimental Value 

Flowers may not speak, but their silent presence can already say the words too painful to say. They have a certain language that can express deep emotions of sympathy and understanding. And this is something that money could never afford to give. 

Giving flowers to show condolences mean that you value the deceased and that they never leave your thoughts. Imagine losing a loved one and seeing the coffin surrounded by heartfelt flower arrangements. Won't it leave a beautiful memory knowing that he/she is valued by many?

Funeral Flowers are More Memorable

Although flowers wither and die, this token of respect will forever cling to the people's memories in grief. Cash might be a good financial aid, but it can easily go unnoticed and eventually forgotten given the time of distress and suffering. In contrast, funeral flowers can be seen during wakes and burial, and this will be a lasting reminder that you have been with the bereaved every step of the way. 

Funeral Flowers Have Spiritual Significance 

Aside from the expression of love and sympathy, flowers carry symbolisms that touch through the spiritual journey of humans. Death as an inevitable stage is a common truth for both the flowers and humans. This can also be stemmed from the religious belief of Christians that life on earth is only temporary. 

Unlike financial donations, funeral flowers will send a message that the lives of humans are like flowers – they're fleeting. This simple act can make the bereaved feel that you understand them and that sympathy is even more heartfelt. 

Funeral Flowers are More Than Just for Displays 

The act of giving flowers in times of grief can be traced back to thousands of years ago when embalming was far from existence. Aside from paying tribute to the dead, flowers were used for their fragrance to help counter decaying bodies' odours. It has been a living tradition that transpired over the years. Nowadays, even if embalming already came to life, floral arrangements remain a vital part of funerals for decoration purposes and overpower the smell of corpses. 

Funeral Flowers can be Personalized.

Unlike condolence money, flowers are open for customizations tailored to the message you want to send. Florals come in different types and colours that speak of various personalities. Each flower carries meanings that go beyond its appearance. Being personally involved in the selection process of floral arrangements can bring your tribute even closer to the family's hearts at a loss. 

Sending Funeral Flowers Shows More Effort 

Although sending flowers is now made easier with the availability of online services, it still entails efforts to a certain degree that are relatively more difficult to do than simply giving money. From nitpicking the florist and floral arrangements to paying the cost, the time and effort you put into sending this token of respect will certainly be appreciated. 

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