If you are having trouble deciding what to send to a funeral that follows the Greek Orthodox tradition, the following information should help you.
When someone you care about passes away, it can be difficult to know what actions are appropriate to take in response to the loss. Attending the service and showing respect by bringing flowers or gifts is one of the most important things you can do for the family.
It is traditional to send wreaths, crosses, or sprays of flowers when attending a funeral in Greece. At Greek funerals, wreaths are the typical floral tribute that is requested.
If you are unable to attend a funeral service but still want to show respect for the person who has passed away, sending flowers to the funeral home is an appropriate way to do so.
Flowers are an appropriate gift to give to the family in the tradition of the Greek Orthodox Church, and they can be delivered to the funeral home or the church in advance of the service. Let Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals help you select the type of funeral service that best fits your needs.
You may also send a smaller arrangement to the home of the deceased's immediate family.
These stones remind them that someone they care for was visited, mourned for, respected, supported and honored by the presence of others who've visited their memorial. The Hebrew word for pebble is also a word that means “bond.” By placing a stone on the headstone, it bonds the deceased with the visitors.
What is grave subsidence? Grave subsidence refers to the appearance of graves 'sinking'. This is an entirely natural process caused by loosened soil settling into place and the natural process of the coffin collapsing overtime.
If you haven't seen or spoken to the deceased in years, this would need to be considered. More so, if your relationship ended on bad terms, whether romantically, professionally or financially—it would be better to not cause any unnecessary stress on the grieving family and friends.
The most common answer is that jeans aren't considered appropriate funeral etiquette unless requested by the family. However, dark, unembellished jeans paired with a shirt, tie, and blazer for men or a blouse and a blazer for women can be appropriate for a casual service.
While you should generally steer clear of bright colours and loud prints (unless otherwise requested), other things to avoid include very revealing or overly casual clothes, like ripped jeans, sheer tops or pieces with inappropriate cut-out details. Accessory-wise, keep things minimal.
Traditional Greek Funerals
Because funeral services in Greece are customarily held at the church that was most frequently attended by the deceased, sending flowers to the church is a common practise.
Circular wreaths are the most typical arrangement for funeral flowers that are sent as gifts. It is traditional to place the wreaths at the entrance of the church, where the members of the family can see them as they come into the building.
You might be able to have your flowers left on a stand at the altar or inside the entrance if you ask the priest for permission to do so. This would be the case in some cases.
The vast majority of priests are able to be flexible and are happy to do so; however, some of them are quite strict regarding slipping hazards and will not permit flowers inside if they are leaking water.
The funeral service in the Greek Orthodox faith is traditionally conducted in a church, and it takes place between two and three days after the death of the deceased (can be up to one week after).
The ceremony itself does not make up a part of a longer service and can last anywhere between thirty and sixty minutes. The Trisagion Service is going to be led by the priest, and several books are going to be used, one of which is going to be The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
During the entire service, the casket will be left open, and attendees will file past it as they pay their final respects to the person who has died. Funeral services will never be held on a Sunday or on Holy Saturday in the Greek Orthodox tradition.
Officiants at a funeral in other Orthodox churches include a bishop and a priest, as well as a deacon, a subdeacon, and an altar server. These individuals all assist the bishop or the priest in leading the service.
During a funeral service in most Orthodox churches, a text is only read by the bishop or priest who is officiating the service.
The following phrases are offered as traditional greetings to the bereaved family in Greek Orthodox funeral services: "May you have an abundant life," "Memory eternal," and "May their memory be eternal." To express sympathy in the Antiochian Orthodox tradition, phrases such as "May God give you the strength to bear your loss" and "May his [or her] memory be eternal" are commonly used.
There is a brief prayer ceremony that takes place at the graveside. At funerals, the officiating priest or bishop will typically place soil on top of the casket in the shape of a cross. Following this, each person in attendance will either place a flower on top of the casket or spread the soil.
Flowers are typically brought to the cemetery with the casket. Traditionally, they are brought from the church, where the funeral was held, and then taken to the cemetery.
After the funeral, it is considerate to pay the grieving family a short visit at their residence. A visitor might come across some religious objects, such as two-dimensional artistic images of saints, a candle that is lit, and some incense that is burning.
A week of mourning at home is the norm for those who have lost a loved one. It is not uncommon for widows to withdraw from social activities for an entire calendar year.
The first forty days after a person has passed away, mourners will typically refrain from attending social gatherings and will only put on black clothing during this time. Widows in the Greek Orthodox faith are permitted to dress in mourning for up to two years.
A memorial service is typically held on the Sunday that is closest to the fortieth day after the death of the person being commemorated. After that, a memorial service is held each year on the anniversary of the conclusion of the conflict.
Orthodox Tradition and Flowers
There is a custom at many Greek Orthodox funerals in which each member of the deceased person's family or other loved ones places a flower on the casket of the deceased person; however, other flowers may also be sent as a symbol of condolence.
As is the case with the majority of funerals, members of the immediate family usually take care of large floral arrangements, while members of the extended family and friends send smaller floral arrangements such as flowers arranged in a basket or in the shape of a cross.
Flowers are an essential component of virtually every meaningful event or occasion. They are a token of appreciation or condolence as well as a symbol of the beauty and life that they represent.
They play an important part in the various religious rituals and traditions that give the community its unique character, and they unite us all in our appreciation for the gifts that nature has bestowed upon us.
Understand that there are a lot of different areas, and that this is intentional because we wouldn't want it any other way.
A funeral service that is personalised with religious expressions is a wonderful way to celebrate the passions and values of a deceased loved one with the family and friends of the deceased.
The use of flowers in Greek Orthodox funeral services is an excellent illustration of the beauty and significance of religious tradition.
When you want to show a grieving family who practises the Greek Orthodox religion that you care and want to express your condolences, flowers are a wonderful gift to give them. White flowers are universally regarded as the superior option and are consequently the most popular selection. It's possible that this is due to the fact that in a lot of eastern traditions, white is the colour of mourning.
Apple blossoms and lilies are two examples of alternative types of flowers that can be given to express sympathy or hope, depending on the circumstance.
If you are interested in doing something that is a little bit more personal, you could send the family or the funeral home the loved one's favourite flower arrangement.
In most cases, members of the immediate family will be in charge of large floral arrangements, such as casket sprays; however, extended family members and friends will typically send smaller arrangements.
Flowers play an important role in the one-of-a-kind burial ritual practised in Greek Orthodox communities, in addition to being given as gifts.
After a brief viewing and the funeral service, there will be a special burial service known as the Trisagion Service held for the deceased.
After the guests have arrived at the cemetery, a flower will be presented to them to hold during the final prayers that will be said. After the prayers are finished, the attendees will each place a single flower on the coffin where their loved ones will be laid to rest.
Even though it is believed that a person's life is eternal and that their spirit continues to live on after death, the Greek Orthodox religion still acknowledges death as a troubling aspect of the real world. This is the case despite the fact that the belief that a person's life is eternal and that their spirit continues to live on after death.
Because of this, the traditional ceremony is still carried out, and flowers continue to play an important – and beautiful – role in the ceremony.
We need to be aware of and comprehend the significance of these holy rites in order to be in a position to offer healing and comfort to a religious family when the time is appropriate.
Choosing Flowers for a Greek Funeral
Your floral tribute should be in a colour that corresponds with the gender of the person who has passed away. If a woman's death has been announced, you may send wreaths in the following colours: pink, purple, white, red, or yellow.
You are welcome to send wreaths in shades of blue, white, yellow, orange, or red to the gentlemen.
It is possible that the family will find it offensive if you send a wreath with pink and purple flowers to commemorate the passing of a gentleman; therefore, it is important that you choose appropriate colours.
White flowers, according to the customs of the Orthodox faith, are the ones that are considered to be the most fitting to send to a funeral.
However, you may also send other flowers, such as the apple blossom or the lily, which are regarded as symbols of both condolence and even hope. These flowers may be an alternative option.
You could also choose something that was a favourite of the person who has passed away, as this carries a special meaning for the person's loved ones. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals will always find creative ways to pull costs in line with your budget.
In certain circumstances, the family may make a request that, in lieu of flowers, monetary contributions be made to the local church or to another charitable organisation.
Even if it is your preference, you should refrain from sending flowers to the funeral if that particular request has been made.
It is imperative that you respect the wishes of the family rather than gratifying your own desire to send a floral arrangement.
In most cases, the family will indicate in the obituary or death notice whether or not they would prefer a donation of some kind.
It is customary for a Greek Orthodox funeral to take place within three days of the death of the person being commemorated, which does not leave a lot of time to place an order for flowers.
If you want to send a floral arrangement, you should keep this fact in mind; in order for the flowers to arrive in time for the first visitation, you will need to place your order as soon as possible after receiving the news of the person's passing.
What to Send to a Funeral Instead of Flowers
The greater the number of flowers at a funeral, the more important they are to Greeks. But for those who are looking for other options besides sending flowers after a loss, the following are a few alternatives that are worth sharing.
Check for an "Instead of Flower"
There are times when families have already shared their expectations with you. Check the obituary or the website of the funeral home, or call the funeral home, to find out if the family has suggested anything to be done "instead of flowers."
Tree or Shrub and Memorial Stone
Despite the fact that it might not come across in this post, I have a passion for plants. A beautiful and everlasting memorial would be a tree or shrub that the family plants in memory of their departed loved one.
Think about whether the family has room for a tree or shrub, and choose one that you think would make a beautiful memorial from the options available.
On this page of the With Sympathy Gifts website, you will discover a plethora of stunning memorial stones to choose from. Even if a tree would be too much of a present, these garden stones would still make a wonderful present on their own.
An Unconventional Sympathy Card, Handwritten Note, or Trinket
If you're anything like me, you enjoy the thought of sending a card or a note to someone, but you don't want to send the same old Hallmark card everyone else does.
To begin, the most thoughtful expressions of sentiment are frequently those that are penned by hand from scratch.
On the other hand, there are businesses available that provide options for cards that are relatable even if you aren't very good with words.
Photos the Family Doesn't Have
There is a good chance that you, as a friend or a member of the extended family, have photographs that the immediate family does not have.
In the event that this is the case, would you be able to compile a memorial album or CD of photographs of the family's loved one that they do not already possess?
They will likely come to appreciate having as many photographs as they can get their hands on as the weeks and months pass.
A Self-Care Gift
When people are coping with the death of a loved one in their family, one of the most difficult things for them to do is to take care of themselves.
A thoughtful act that could encourage someone to make time for themselves is purchasing a gift certificate for a service such as a massage, manicure, or even a private yoga class (some teachers will come to your home). This would be a nice gesture to give to someone.
If you don't think they will be up for going out, a basket filled with items for self-care could be a lovely alternative (consider nice pyjamas, bath items, a candle, a magazine, DVD etc.).
When deciding what to do, it is important to keep the person who has suffered the loss in mind. If they have a passion for movies or baseball, for example, a gift card to a movie theatre or a baseball game might be more fitting.
A Dedication or Donation
Take into consideration making a dedication or a donation that will speak to the person's life or the nature of your connection to them.
There is no shortage of choice in this regard. Make a memorial contribution to the high school or college where your friend studied if you wish to honour their memory.
It's possible that they were active members of a local church or community organisation. Make a call and find out if it is possible to make donations or dedications.
Look into charitable organisations that cater to the individual's interests, whether those interests lie in the realm of sports, the arts, animals, or anything in between.
You might be surprised to learn how many wonderful charitable organisations are associated with a diverse range of pastimes and interests.
The majority of establishments will confirm to the family that a donation has been made in their memory by sending an acknowledgement letter. Just make sure to enquire about it and give the member of the family's address.
A Memorial Guestbook
This is not your average guestbook at all! Those who attend a memorial service can leave not only their name but also a special message to the family as well as a memory of the deceased person in a specialised memorial guest book in which they can sign their name.
Because the service is often a haze for families, having this book will enable guests to leave messages and memories for the family to look back on in the future.
If a member of your staff recently lost a loved one and you are looking for a thoughtful gesture to offer in lieu of flowers, perhaps you would consider donating a day of vacation time.
Bereavement leave is typically only granted for a few days by most employers, and employees who have suffered a loss that does not directly affect their family may receive no leave at all.
It's possible that someone will have to go back to work the day after a funeral if they don't donate a day, but they might be able to take a day or two off before going back if they donate a day.
Check with your company's human resources department to determine whether or not your organisation allows this and what the procedure entails if it does.
Something for the Kids
After a tragedy, one of the first questions that people will ask is about the well-being of the children who were impacted by it. However, people almost never consider sending items to the children or giving them gifts.
When there is so much attention focused on the deceased and the funeral, children frequently have the impression that they have been forgotten. Any token of your consideration, however insignificant, can serve as a gentle nudge in their direction.
Consider the ages of the children as well as their interests.
A child will be reassured that you haven't forgotten about them by receiving one of the following: a stuffed animal (to cuddle with for comfort), a journal (to express feelings), colouring books, activity books, movies, or video games (to occupy themselves when everyone else is busy). Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers funeral flower arrangements that are delightful and elegant. Our flowers will show your respect for the departed at very reasonable prices.
It is natural to put off cleaning the house when a member of one's family is ill or passes away; this is understandable. In all likelihood, this will continue for the bereaved individual for several weeks or even months.
In the immediate aftermath of a loss, friends and family frequently pay a visit to the affected individual's home. If the home has not been cleaned up, this can be a significant source of stress for some people.
The family might find some relief in receiving a gift certificate for a cleaning service. You could offer to clean their home, but keep in mind that many people are self-conscious about their mess and would rather have a stranger do this job than a friend. If you choose to make this offer, keep in mind that many people would rather have a stranger do this job than a friend.
Therefore, a gift certificate that includes an offer to handle scheduling for them, in the event that they require it, is an excellent choice.
Lawn Care Service
As was mentioned earlier, in a lot of cases, the person who passed away was the one who mowed the lawn or took care of the other things that needed to be done outside.
Taking care of those things can be an unnecessary source of stress for the family, even if it is not the case that this is the case.
A gift certificate to a lawn care service is a considerate and useful way to show someone you care about their property. Even better, throw in the offer to call and get it scheduled for them if they don't have time to do it themselves.
Book of Letters
The act of organising friends to compile a book of letters is a gesture that we have found to be extraordinarily meaningful.
This is typical in situations in which young children are affected by the loss. The children can have their friends write letters to them about their parents, grandparents, or any other member of their family.
Nevertheless, adults aren't the only ones who can take something positive away from this action.
One example of something that might be significant is a book consisting of letters written to parents from adult children.
The parents of the child are frequently unaware of the many things that their child has done and the people whose lives they have affected.
The price of this kind of book is extremely low (all you need is an excellent binder and possibly some page protectors, or a bound book that each person writes directly in).
In order to successfully gather the letters and communicate with friends, a significant amount of effort and coordination is required. This is a thoughtful act that will be treasured by a great number of households for many years to come.
Instead of flowers, you could send a joint gift of food to your recipients (or in addition to flowers). We do recommend it, but you should proceed with caution!
It is likely that this calls for its own post. If you do decide to provide food, I will be thinking about how, when, and what you will bring with you.
When someone close to them passes away, families are frequently inundated with food. A present of food will most likely be received with much greater gratitude a few weeks after the event has concluded.
At that point, they are no longer receiving casseroles at a rate at which they can hardly make room for them in the freezer.
A beautiful basket filled with non-perishable foods can be a nice gesture, particularly if it contains snacks that they can offer to visitors who drop by unannounced.
If you want to stick with the theme of food, a gift card to a local restaurant or carry out establishment is a good go-to option. Another wonderful offer would be to get their shopping list and run errands for them instead of them having to do it.
Flowers or Plants
If you decide that sending flowers is the appropriate gift for you to give, you have the option of making the arrangement more thoughtful than the typical one.
First, it's important to reflect on the person who passed away. Is there a particular plant, flower, or colour that, for whatever reason, brings to mind that other person? If that is the case, then you have a very good option there. In that case, you will need to choose between sending flowers or a plant.
The plant is something that can be kept by the Family, even though not all families will want that or appreciate it. Here at Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals, we provide Orthodox funeral services.
Also, consider whether there is a flower you have found particularly comforting.