Choose Carefully: Sympathy Flowers to Send for a Funeral

Mourning woman on funeral with red roses

Flowers are part of a funeral. They provide comfort to and lift the spirit of the loved ones of the deceased. You may send them as a way to express sympathy toward the family, says Lindquist Mortuaries and Cemeteries.

Sending sympathy flowers is not as simple as choosing a floral arrangement and having it delivered, though. While there are no rules about sending flowers, you have to be careful about the preferred floral options or arrangement. You also have to consider the faith and culture of the deceased.

Getting the Floral Option and Arrangement Right

Many people prefer to pre-arrange their funerals. Get in touch with the family of the deceased to see if they wanted a specific kind of flower. If there is none, do some research before asking a florist to put a floral arrangement together.

Popular funeral flowers include lilies, roses, orchids, carnations, and the peace lily plant. Each one tells a certain message and evokes a certain emotion.

Additionally, ask the family whether they would prefer a certain kind of floral arrangement. You might be sending a standing spray when they would rather have a wreath. You might be sending a basket arrangement when they would rather receive bouquets. It’s better to know the family’s preference.

Being Sensitive to the Faith and Culture

Consider the faith and culture of the deceased before sending sympathy flowers. What is acceptable for one practice may not be acceptable for another.

Most flowers and arrangements are acceptable for Catholics, Protestant Christians, Baha’i, and Buddhists. The same goes for Eastern or Greek Orthodox, except they favor white flowers. They are also acceptable for Hindu funerals, but garlands are more common among them.

People of the Islamic religion prefer simple arrangements or that you send money to a charity in lieu of sympathy flowers. Mormon would appreciate floral arrangements without a crucifix or a cross. Jewish families do not typically display flowers at funerals, so a fruit basket to their home might be a more suitable way of expressing sympathy.

Sympathy flowers are an appropriate way of showing your support to the grieving loved ones of the deceased. But consider the floral arrangement as well as the faith and culture of the deceased before sending one over. This makes the gesture more genuine.