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What you need to know before sending sympathy flowers; Funeral Flowers Explained!

Posted on 13 September 2023

       One of the most painful experiences in our lifetime is loss of a loved one. As a friend, coworker or family member is grieving it is our moral obligation to comfort them and make them feel loved. Flowers have a way of comforting the broken heart when no words can. However, one must consider the type of arrangement that best suits the families’ cultural and religious traditions. This blog will inform you what you need to know before you send sympathy/funeral flowers, what type of flower arrangement to send, when is the correct time to send, and where do I send them? 

The history of funeral flowers.

While the tradition of incorporating flowers at a funeral ritual has been around for thousands of years, it did not serve the same purpose as it does today. In ancient times, flowers were first used in funeral services to cover the unpleasant odors of a decaying body. Depending on the environment, condition of the body, time of burial flowers were used in varying quantities to tolerate the smell of those coming to pay their respects. Today it is used as an expression of comfort, respect, sympathy and love. Flowers also create a warmth background adding beauty to a funeral service, celebrating one’s life.

When is the best time to send funeral/sympathy flowers?

There are variable times which are appropriate to send sympathy flowers. Most commonly they are sent to the funeral home to be displayed by the casket. Flowers can also be sent to the home of a friend or loved one to aid with their grievance. If you were uninformed about a death until after funeral service, a flower basket,dish garden, plant or planter could be sent to the home of the family in grieving to show that they have not been forgotten.   

Which type of sympathy flower arrangements should You send?

There are many different types of sympathy/funeral arrangements. The most common being floral baskets, standing sprays, wreaths, crosses, hearts and dish gardens or plants.  Although it seems like a wide selection to choose from, it is important to select the appropriate arrangement based on where will be sent to and when. Read our blog to compare the arrangements in detail with images, and to find the correct arrangement to send to the appropriate location to accurately reflect your sympathy. 

Does the colors and the variety of flowers you send matter?

Most times yes, it does. However, it isn’t something that one needs to stress about getting correct. Almost all florists, creating sympathy flower arrangements are well educated in which colors are appropriate to express sympathy.  To learn about the deeper intricate meaning, symbols of the flowers and colors; read our blog on the hidden meaning of flowers and their colors.

When isn’t it appropriate to send sympathy/funeral flowers?

There are a very few instances when sending flowers is not appropriate. The Jewish and Muslim faiths do not traditionally receive flowers. However, some families accept flowers to their homes within the 40-day grief period after the burial. This can vary between different Muslim sects. In Buddhism it is important to know only white color flowers are the traditional color that represents mourning. In Hinduism, flowers are not a traditional part of the funeral service. For any questions or concerns it is best if you contact the funeral home, family friend or relative for the best guidance.

With this overview of the history, culture, tradition of funeral/sympathy flowers, you will have the confidence to order the correct arrangement appropriate to the time, date and location of the funeral process. In our busy lives even if you were uninformed on a passing day, you have learned to still show your sympathy and comfort to the family in mourning weeks after the funeral through flowers.

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