A thoughtful and well-considered funeral flower arrangement is a way to commemorate the deceased, as well as providing some comfort and support to the mourning family. Throughout history, funerals have been linked with a floral arrangement, and they can add beauty and calm to a challenging day.
Here are some of the things to consider as you plan what arrangement to send to a funeral.
What religion or faith did the deceased follow?
Different religions have different traditions with regard to funeral arrangements.
You will also need to consider the faith and culture of the deceased. The following list is a general etiquette guide but, if you are unsure, ask the closest family member that you know of for advice. Here are some of the most common religions:
Catholic – Most styles of flowers and floral arrangements are acceptable at a Catholic funeral. Wreaths and crosses are common design choices.
Protestant Christian – Again, most flowers and floral arrangements are acceptable.
Greek Orthodox – The flowers most favoured at a Greek orthodox funeral are white, and arrangements tend to be conservative, but most flowers are accepted.
Jewish – Traditionally flowers are not displayed during the service, although in some more contemporary Jewish funerals flowers may be displayed at the entrance of the synagogue. Often, the family sits shiva in the family home (a time of gathering for mourning and remembrance) and fruit baskets or other food is a popular gift.
Hindu – Floral arrangements are acceptable, but flower garlands are far more common at a Hindu funeral and are often placed in the coffin. Highly-scented and coloured floral arrangements are also very popular. Fruit baskets are also common.
Buddhist – White flowers are very common and traditional in Buddhist funeral floral arrangements, but red flowers are considered inappropriate.
What flowers should I use in the funeral arrangement?
Different floral arrangements are popular in different cultures. Western or European cultures tend to favour white flowers and traditional flowers including roses, carnations, chrysanthemums (often referred to as ‘mums’) and lilies. Asian cultures often use yellow as a mourning colour in traditional arrangements, but many will also use white flowers. Chrysanthemums are very common in Asian funerals.
Whichever floral arrangement you choose to send to the funeral, it is just as important to choose a heartfelt message and card to include with the delivery. Where it is possible, try and handwrite the message to create that all-important human connection, to help the family feel your love and support.