Did you know that in the 1950s archeologist Ralph Solecki discovered evidence our ancient ancestors buried their dead with flowers? The discovery was noted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest form of human ritual.
Flowers and death have gone together since the Stone Age, with rituals and flower arrangements becoming more elaborate as time passed. Now, sympathy flowers are still a beautiful way of letting those who are grieving know you are thinking of them.
With all of the options available, however, you may not be sure how to purchase an appropriate sympathy flower arrangement. Let us look at some tips that can help.
1. Know Your Sympathy Flower Options
There are various types of sympathy flowers, separated by their function. You can usually choose from:
- Sprays, which are large and flat bouquets of long-stemmed flowers designed to be seen from one side
- Casket sprays, which are double-ended sprays placed on the casket
- Sympathy sprays, which are single-ended and go on a standing easel
- Inside pieces, for inside the casket
- Garlands or wreaths, which are flowers or plants held together to form a circle
- Funeral baskets, which are floral arrangements displayed in baskets or other containers
- Specialty arrangements, which can be made in the shape of a cross, a heart, and even letters
- Vase arrangements
There are instances when sending flowers for sympathy is not appropriate, for example when the family requests donations in lieu of flowers. There are religions that also do not traditionally use flowers for funeral services.
2. Consider Your Relation to the Deceased
When you send sympathy flowers, you have to consider the kind of relationship you had with the deceased. The closer you were to the person, the larger and more elaborate the arrangement can be.
Immediate family members like spouses, children, parents, siblings, and grandparents buy the essential flowers, such as the casket sprays, wreaths, and large sprays for stands.
These arrangements are the ones closest to the casket.
Family members like aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews can choose other types of sympathy flowers. Many choose to send flower arrangements to the immediate family’s home or take bouquets to the cemetery.
Friends and Business Associates
Friends and business associates can send smaller arrangements, like funeral baskets or vase arrangements. It is appropriate to send these to the funeral home or the home of the deceased.
3. Funeral Type
The service the family chooses to have for the deceased should impact the flower choices you make. The best sympathy flowers will be those that offer comfort and honor the memory of the person, which requires you to also honor the service they have.
For more traditional services, you may want to stick with traditional flowers for funerary services, like lilies, chrysanthemums, and roses. Traditional burial services will usually use the same type of flowers as that used at the funeral home. For celebrations of life, however, you may want to opt for brighter flower options.
What kind of flowers did the deceased like? If they had favorites, choosing sympathy flowers that feature them can be a beautiful tribute. If the person was a gardener, for example, look to include the flowers they loved to grow in the arrangements.
You can also add a sympathy note to the flowers. Sympathy notes for flowers should be brief and should offer your condolences. Some people choose to add religious quotes or anything else that can offer comfort to those who are grieving.
5. Consider the Deceased’s Faith
If the person was religious, knowing what the traditions of their faith are is vital. If you are not sure about what their faith was, check with the family.
If the person was Eastern Orthodox, the burial will happen after exactly three days. It is a good idea to send the flowers right to the funeral home. Although most flowers are appropriate, white ones are preferred.
For people who were Buddhist, sending flowers is also appropriate. Choose white or yellow flowers, but avoid red because it is a color of celebration and health in their faith.
For Hindu services, garlands are the best choice. Funeral flowers are not part of the Hindu tradition, but sending a basket is still thoughtful.
The Jewish funeral traditions do not include flowers, so it is more appropriate to send fruit baskets or even care packages. If you do want to send flowers, send them to the home of the family.
For a Mormon’s service, most sympathy flowers are welcome. Be sure to avoid arrangements in the shape of a cross, however, because it can be offensive.
Flowers are not included in Muslim services, but if you want to send some, send them directly to the home of the deceased.
For Christian services that are not Eastern Orthodox or Mormon, you can choose any type of flower arrangement. You can send them to the funeral home, church, or to the home of the deceased.
Send a Message of Sympathy
When you send sympathy flowers to those who are grieving, you are letting them know you have them in your thoughts. That can offer the support they need to get through the loss.
At Flowers Near, we are dedicated to helping you find the exact flower arrangements you need for any occasion. Our team of experts can help you choose from a wide selection of sprays, baskets, and bouquets.
Contact us today to find the flower arrangement you want!