Flowers are a soothing gift and a constant throughout the ups and downs of life. In fact, archaeologists have discovered evidence of funeral flowers at the site of a Neanderthal burial, with pollen deposits intermingled with the topsoil at the grave. Over the millennia, flowers have gained deep cultural and symbolic value, meaning that your choice of funeral flowers can convey a message of love to your friends and family.
The Meaning Behind Floral Arrangements
Flowers materialise in numerous ways at funerals, tucked inside the buttonholes of guests, woven into hearts and crosses at the venue or thrown onto the coffin at the burial. However, one of the most common arrangements of funeral flowers is a wreath. The shape signifies the continuity of eternal life, often formed out of evergreen plants that suggest the victory of life over death, reflecting Christian theology. These circles are a quiet, traditional way of expressing hope and as such are often a central part of funeral displays.
Alternatively, sprays of funeral flowers are arrayed as a tribute to the deceased, sometimes lain on the casket itself. During burials, the casket is often strewn with whole flowers or petals as a personal gesture of love and tenderness, whilst pallbearers and mourners often wear a buttonhole as a show of respect. Traditionally guests pin roses to their clothing, often bound with soft greenery, but there are endless options for funeral flowers.
The Language Of Funeral Flowers
The Victorians had a secret language in which no words were spoken, and yet everyone knew what that person was trying to say. They used flowers to convey meanings, using a system called floriography. This system is still relevant today, especially at important events such as funerals.
Lilies are the most recognisable funeral flower, with their white and stately trumpets signifying purity, innocence and rebirth, while tulips suggest love, hope and peace. These are the most prominent themes among funeral flowers, with humble daisies and stunning orchids sharing these special meanings. When searching for your funeral flowers, you can choose a bloom that sends a message to your loved ones or you can pick a bloom which you feel symbolises your inner self, such as the gladiolus or snapdragon, which represent integrity and strength.
Colours can also imbue your floral choice with meaning; red flowers indicate strength, devotion and love, whilst blue flowers offer sympathy, sadness and peace. Whether you choose the traditional white lily or go for an unexpected orange bloom, representative of enthusiasm and joy, you can express your true self in the language of flowers.
Alas, funeral flowers are not always appropriate. Not everyone is a keen florist or enthusiastic gardener, whilst your venue or your guests’ pollen tolerance might impose limitations on floral decorations. Alternatively, you can ask your loved ones to contribute photographs for a mural or a scrapbook of treasured memories to go on display at the funeral. Many people send flowers because they want to send a gift but are unsure what else to send, so photographs or charity donations are excellent substitutes for the traditional wreath.
Our Light Inside
By creating an online portal at Our Light Inside, you can have a space in which to document all your ideas and wishes, which can be sent to your nominees so that they don’t have to guess which flowers you would prefer.