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Giving flowers as a symbol of sympathy is a good way to express your condolences at a funeral. You can send a bouquet or a funeral wreath that expresses how you feel. Funeral flowers are some typical ones, like lilies and white chrysanthemums, but there are a number of flora that you can choose from. You can even combine the expected white flowers with dashes of pastel colored pink or lilac blooms.

Losing a loved one is the most difficult of all life’s experiences. When you think of a bereaved family of a lost soul, you need to consider what the flowers you send convey. Many flowers have messages behind them and are a metaphor for a quality or an emotion. This will help you make your final selection. In the piece below are some commonly sent flowers and the meanings they stand for. This guide may give you ideas of your own besides helping you to form a basic structure in your mind.

Funeral flowers are an expression of love, hope and peace during a difficult time. Whether you are a close family friend or a relative, giving flowers are a brilliant gesture to show your affection and unending support. Especially when you aren’t present at a funeral, flowers mean that you are thinking of the person who has passed on, as well as the grief-stricken family.


You can arrange your funeral flowers as contained in a basket. These come in various sizes. They show that a token of sympathy has been conveyed. If you want a more elaborate array, you may opt for standing sprays or a bouquet. Wreaths made into classic round shapes are also given, as are flowers in the shapes of crosses and hearts. Larger arrangements may be delivered to the funeral home to be placed appropriately at the site of the grave.


Normally, flowers are sent to show how much you appreciated the departed soul. While mourning the person in question who showed great strength, the gladioli flower is a great choice to give. It symbolizes a powerful character and manifests upliftment of the family you send it to. It is common to combine white and yellow gladioli flowers with yellow roses and perhaps, chrysanthemums. They make great backing flowers in upright funeral flower arrangements.

White Rose

White roses used as flowers in a condolence arrangement have special meaning. They stand out as the perfect choice for many a funeral flower bouquet. White roses communicate messages of innocence and youth. They convey a deep reverence and respect for the deceased. Different countries have different meanings based on the flowers used, but the white rose remains as a symbol of purity and heartfelt emotion.

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Orchids say a lot about how you feel. They are extravagant, but arranged in the right way with the appropriate color scheme in mind, they send messages of being there for someone, telling them they’re not alone. Given as funeral flowers, popular colors are pink, purple and white. Orchids send out a clear message of “I love you and I always will.”


Traditionally, lilies of all kinds make the best flowers to have or to give at a funeral. Symbolic of the soul of the departed one, lilies stand for a process of renewal. In case you are sending flowers to a strictly pious family, these are an excellent choice. White lilies match well with white carnations and have special significance to honor departed loved ones. This is especially the case when the deceased was extra special. You can choose bi colored lilies that have hints of pink or deep burgundy in the center of pure white petals.


Roses, of any color, have great meaning at a funeral. They are universally loved by all religions and people. Although you may think that red roses are too bright, they aren’t. They symbolize great and sincere love and respect for the person. Pink roses signify grace and appreciation, letting the family know you are grateful that the person was in your life. In celebrating the life of a dear friend, yellow roses are the ideal funeral flower pick. Red roses aren’t just for Valentine’s Day, but are also offered as a message of the depth of your sorrow and grief. Crimson roses are a great choice for this, as they are a dark burgundy color that is austere enough to suit the occasion.


You can, as a variation, send potted flowers as a sign of your remembrance for a deceased loved one. Funeral flowers don’t necessarily have to be sent as a bouquet or any other type of cut arrangement. Potted flowers will last longer, and will have greater sentimental value for the person receiving them as a consequence. A potted flower shows that you will continue to support the family, not only in its time of grief, but later on too. A great option to send is the potted hydrangea. In a decorative pot, they remain indoors and when the family is ready, they can be replanted in the garden. Hydrangeas bloom for years and give a message that the soul is eternal. Alternatively, blue hydrangeas in arrangements can be combined with white lilies or white chrysanthemums. Blue is a color that symbolizes peace and calm.


Chrysanthemums are important flowers for funeral services in parts of Asia and some European countries. If the family of the departed has links with Japan, China and Korea, chrysanthemums would suit the family well. You can choose white for purity and sympathy, and combine it with a brighter shade, maybe orange or yellow, to show how the person celebrated life. In countries of Europe, chrysanthemums are sent to place on grave sites or to funeral homes, and never to the family directly.


Flowers that top any list of funeral flowers are carnations. Fragrant and long-lasting, even as cut flowers, carnations spell innocence and purity of thought, especially in white or cream colors. If you want to show your love for the departed, you can combine pink or red flowers with white in your arrangement.

Different Religions

When you are sending funeral flowers, it is best to send them directly to the home of the family or to the funeral home. This is the common protocol that is followed. In the Roman Catholic, Protestant, Lutheran and Presbyterian faiths, white is the preferred color to offer. In the Hebrew faith, flowers are not appropriate, whatever the color. Buddhism appreciates floral tributes in white. The Hindu faith may accept flowers, but this is not the general custom. In Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures, yellow chrysanthemums are favored as funeral blooms. In the Islamic faith, opinions are varied, and if flowers are acceptable, then red roses are preferred.