Funeral Flowers – Introduction
Funeral flowers play an important part in the tradition of many cultures around the world. It’s common for the friends and loved ones of the deceased to decorate their casket with bouquets and wreaths of funeral flowers as a sign of love and respect for the honored dead. When planning what arrangements you’ll need for a funeral service, it’s important to keep in mind several things.
First of all, a funeral is usually a somber occasion. Extravagant and vibrant colors amongst the funeral flowers are usually best avoided in favor of traditional choices like white and red. Secondly, if the deceased had a favorite flower, it’s often a perfect idea to make that your choice for funeral flowers. If not, there are several staple flowers to stick with. Although this widely varies depending on geography and culture, you generally can’t go wrong with carnations.
Funeral Flowers – Global Traditions
There are a number of different religious traditions regarding funeral flowers. We’ve put together a short list for your perusal, as it may help in making selections if you aren’t completely familiar with the culture or religion of the deceased:
· Baha’i – Burial should take place within a one-hour drive from the place where death occurs. Funeral flowers are appropriate and respectful.
· Buddhist – Most Buddhist funerals take place in a funeral home and not at the temple. Sending funeral flowers is normally considered appropriate as a sign of respect.
· Catholic – Funeral flowers are always welcomed and appreciated. For deliveries to the church, please confirm details with the parish, as practices may vary with regard to casket sprays and where the flowers can be displayed.
· Mormon – Most floral tributes are encouraged and appropriate, excepting flowers arranged on a cross or crucifix. Keep this in mind during selection.
· Orthodox – During the period before burial, which falls three days after death, funeral flowers may be sent to the funeral home. White flowers are usually most appropriate and appreciated.
· Hindu – Hindus usually try to hold a service at a funeral home before sunset on the day of death. Flowers can usually be sent, although doing so isn’t a part of the Hindu tradition.
· Islam – Opinion often varies as to the appropriateness of sending flowers. Some believe that the Islamic emphasis on simplicity makes gifts of flowers unsuitable or even offensive. Others say sending flowers is appropriate. You should probably seek the opinion of a local religious leader or the family before making a purchase. In the case that flowers are welcomed, roses are the most common choice.
· Judaism – Sending flowers to the funeral home or burial site is not usually done. Instead, fruit and food baskets are traditionally sent to the home during the mourning period. Increasingly, in modern times, friends will choose to send flowers to mourning family members at home following the funeral.
Funeral Flowers – Types of Arrangements
There are several major types of arrangements, including bouquets, wreaths, and casket sprays. You should generally find out what is most appropriate using our religious guide above, and may also wish to coordinate with others to make sure that you don’t have an overabundance or dearth of one particular item.
· Bouquet – A bouquet of funeral flowers can be either as plain or elaborate as you desire, although the same general rules as listed above apply. A combination of red and white roses makes a great choice, and fresh carnations are another popular breed. The bouquet can be left with the casket at the funeral home or placed next to the grave marker, whichever is most appropriate for you.
· Wreath – A memorial wreath is a good choice for the viewing or service, or for display on the headstone. Apply the same general rules as with the bouquet. There are many different variations of wreath to choose from, and consulting with your florist may be best in the case that you can’t decide.
· Casket Spray – A casket spray can best be described as a giant bouquet of funeral flowers that one places on the casket during the service. Once again, be sure to follow any specific rules that may apply. Choices for the spray are more varied than with bouquets and wreaths, so you may wish to include your florist in the selection process if you need advice.
Funeral Flowers – Conclusion
One benefit of funeral flowers is that it’s easy to arrange for delivery of an arrangement in the case that you are unable to attend the service personally. You can send along a message of condolence despite your absence. Floral gifts for families of the deceased are also a good idea, and will help them through the mourning process.
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