In funerals, words are sometimes not enough. Standing sprays, funeral baskets and condolence wreath flowers are various floral arrangements that help to commemorate the deceased and pay tribute to them. This gesture is often appreciated by the bereaved family members, be it a Buddhist funeral or Christian funeral.

Funeral flowers are usually sent to the funeral home and can serve as decoration for the funeral as well as for the actual funeral service to say farewell. On the other hand, sympathy flowers are sent to the deceased’s home and addressed to their immediate family members to express your deepest condolences.

History of funeral flowers

The tradition of incorporating flowers in a funeral has been around for centuries. It is considered to be one of the oldest forms of mourning. Flower fragments and uncovered pollen were discovered in an excavation that were determined to have existed since 62,000 B.C. – a discovery that sheds light into this ancient activity.

There was also another purpose. The art of embalming developed over centuries, thus flowers were traditionally used to cover the unpleasant scent and odour of a decaying body. Flowers came in varying quantities for mourners to withstand the smell of the deceased and pay their final respects.

Why do we give funeral flowers today

In present times, flowers adopt a different meaning in funerals. They are a means of expressions, especially when it is difficult to put one’s feelings into words. Flowers signify an expression of love, sympathy, comfort and respect – to let the bereaved family know of your heartfelt condolences and express consolation when words fail to convey.

Flowers also add to the consolation and dignity of the funeral service, offering warmth and beauty to help balance the sadness of death. Some believe they have spiritual significance to symbolise the life cycle from birth to death. And just like a flower, proper conditions are needed for humans to grow and blossom.

Types of funeral flowers

Casket sprays: placed on top of the casket

Half casket sprays: preferred during open casket services, and they cover a portion of the casket

Inside pieces: small floral sprays placed and arranged inside the casket with the deceased’s body into clusters, sheaves or pillow. They are traditionally brought by the immediate family to the funeral home

Floral basket: typically bought from a florist to be delivered to the funeral service venue. It can be placed as a table arrangement or close to the casket on the ground

Funeral wreath: a circular-shaped floral arrangement that symbolises eternal life. It can be hung on the door of the funeral parlour or brought to the place of burial

Table arrangements: as a decorative element during any post-funeral events. It can also be given in a vase

Classic flower choices include white lilies, roses, carnations and chrysanthemum. If you are unsure, you can always check with a funeral director on a suitable floral arrangement to commemorate the loss of your loved one.