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Funeral Flower Options

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 6 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
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Flowers often called sympathy flowers, are traditional at funerals in the United Kingdom. Today there are a variety of options for funeral flowers, though as long as arrangements are tasteful and a tribute to the deceased almost any floral pieces can be present at a funeral.

Flower Choices

Both fresh and silk flowers are appropriate for funerals, and many friends and relatives also choose to purchase green plants for this occasion. Roses, carnations, gladiolas and daisies are all popular funeral flowers, though really there is no such thing as an “inappropriate” flower for a funeral display. Discuss options with a professional florist who may be able to advise on less traditional flowers can be incorporated into a tasteful funeral flower arrangement.

Arrangement Options

Though there is no such thing as inappropriate funeral flowers, there are no doubt arrangements that are inappropriate options for a funeral display. In general, casket sprays, wreaths, baskets, hearts, crosses and letters to spell out the deceased’s name are popular choices for funeral flower arrangements. Rosaries or garlands to go inside the casket are another option. If the deceased is a child, arrangements may be able to be formed in the shape of his or her favourite objects. If, for example, the deceased was a lifelong supporter of a particular sports team, arrangements may be able to be made in team colours. If the deceased was a veteran or active member of the military, a patriotic display may be in order. Most good florists will be able to advise family and friends on appropriate funeral flower arrangements, but anything unusual should be cleared with a family member first to avoid embarrassment or anger at a later date. Unduly large arrangements should also be avoided as there may be limited room in the funeral parlour or the location of the funeral service.

Donations In Lieu of Flowers

Some families request that donations be made to a chosen charity in lieu of funeral flowers being given. This is perfectly acceptable, though giving a donation and purchasing funeral flowers would not necessarily be in bad taste either. Flowers can act as a visible reminder to grieving family members that there are others who are there to support them, and this powerful message should not be underestimated. Family members themselves should also not overlook the fact that floral arrangements also give mourners a respite during the viewing or funeral service and allow them to remember the beauty of the world and the beauty of these tributes to the deceased.

Donating Flowers after a Funeral

Most families choose not to, or are unable to, bring home all of the flower arrangements following a funeral service. Instead, donations are often made to local churches, hospitals, hospices and care homes. Displays may also be divided among family members to be brought home. There is no right or wrong way of donating flowers following a funeral, though simply throwing them away would be callous and disrespectful to those who selected them with love and care.

Funeral flowers are a visible tribute to the deceased and their messages of love and support are generally appreciated by grieving family members. For more information about appropriate flower arrangements for a funeral, consult a professional florist, funeral director or member of the clergy and keep the deceased in mind at all times.

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Getting in touch with the bereaved family and sending funeral flowers as your condolenceswill let them know your sincerity and support. Also, volunteering some work in the house will provide comfort. I know the family will not say anything if you will ask them "If there's anything I can do, please let me know" so it's better if you take some action.This is especially helpful if you find the obvious tasks are being handled already.
Cathy - 6-Feb-13 @ 1:28 AM
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