The Meanings Behind Funeral Flowers
Does it matter which funeral flowers you choose for a wake or service? The answer to this is sometimes. It really depends on the funeral service host and how traditional they happen to be. The funeral services host can choose to festoon the funeral space with flowers the dearly departed loved during life. They could also decide to decorate with more traditional sympathy or mourning flowers.
When decorating with traditional floral arrangements, it’s a good idea to understand the meaning of the flowers you’ll be using as they can tell a story about the departed.
Dark Red Roses. Photo by Sidney Pearce on Unsplash
Roses as Funeral Flowers
Roses are arguably the most popular type of bouquet flower. They’ve been popularized in fairytales and by the commercialization of Valentine’s Day in the US, but they’re also popular flowers of mourning. Roses are certainly appropriate to use to decorate for funerals, but it’s good to keep in mind the different connotations connected to each color. The classic red rose evokes love, respect and courage in the face of grief. White roses symbolize reverence, youth and innocence. Pink roses signify love, goodwill, and appreciation, whereas yellow roses should be brought by friends of the departed to symbolize their enduring friendship.
White Lilies. Photo by Serafima Lazarenko on Unsplash
Lilies are the most common funeral flower and for good reason. They symbolize that purity and innocence has been restored to the soul of the departed. It’s important to note that white lilies signify majesty and purity while stargazer lilies evoke sympathy. We suggest using white lilies for decor. If you’re attending a funeral, stargazer lilies make beautiful gifts.
Orchids. Photo by ALFONSO ALBERTO RAMÍREZ ALVAREZ on Unsplash
Orchids as Funeral Flowers
Orchids are beautiful tropical flowers that can be used as part of a floral arrangement. Unlike the other flowers on this list, orchids have only one meaning; “I will always love you”. They are a symbol of the purest form of grief: love. How can something that hurts so deeply be love, you may ask? “But what is grief if not love persevering?” The hurt you feel… is simply your love with nowhere else to go.
You can decorate the service hall with orchid arrangements, or you may offer them as thank you gifts to the attendees for coming, and show your love for all of the special people in your loved one’s life. If you are a funeral attendee, you may also present an orchid arrangement or a potted orchid to the grieving family.
A white chrysanthemum. Photo by Anca Gabriela Zosin on Unsplash
Affectionately known as mums, these flowers are popular funeral flora in the US. In America, the white mum is used in funeral decor. In other parts of the world, however, mums mean radically different things. Mums are indigenous to China and there, they symbolize wealth, longevity, and rebirth- so it’s a popular gift to give to a newborn baby and their mother. In Japan, the emperor has claimed the red chrysanthemum as the symbol of the royal house. In some European countries including France, Austria, Hungary, and Lithuania chrysanthemums are used to adorn graves and are brought to funerals as tokens of grief. If you plan to incorporate mums into your funeral service, we highly recommend selecting white ones.
Gladioli. Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
These small blossoms are quite popular and are commonly used in traditional fan sprays and come in many different colors. Gladioli symbolize sincerity, strength of character and moral integrity. They are just as much a reflection of the departed, as they are a call for strength to their family and friends during the grieving period.
Hydrangeas. Photo by Jan Ranft on Unsplash
Hydrangeas symbolize love, harmony and peace. A bouquet of them is a thoughtful gift to a grieving family as it represents a wish that they find peace. If desired, the family can plant them in their own yard or garden and allow them to grow.
Daffodils. Photo by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash
As one of the first spring flowers to emerge after winter fades, the daffodil is the perfect gift for a grieving family or a lovely option to incorporate into a funeral decor floral arrangement. It represents new life after death and is a comforting reminder that the deceased has been reborn in Heaven. Daffodils make a great gift because they symbolize new life after a period of mourning.
Carnations. Photo by Ciocan Ciprian on Unsplash
Pink Carnations are popular funeral flowers seen frequently in Catholic funerals because legend has it that they were created by the Virgin Mary’s tears as she wept over the body of her son, Jesus. Red carnations are symbolic of affection while white ones represent innocence.
Tulips. Photo by Peter Kasprzyk on Unsplash
Tulips, much like hydrangeas and daffodils, are good gifts to give to grieving families and are representative of fresh starts. These particular flowers are popular around the Easter season for this very reason. Yellow tulips evoke cheerfulness while red ones symbolize love. We recommend gifting a mourning family yellow and red tulips as this particular combination not only wishes them future joy, but tells them that they are loved.