Flowers have adorned funerals for thousands of years

Posted on May 26, 2015

Flowers are a long and storied tradition at funeral services. The practice of leaving flowers with a departed loved one stretches back many centuries. Early on, flowers took on a practical as well as an esthetic purpose at a funeral service. Embalming was not around prior to the 1800’s so the use of flowers was extremely helpful in ridding the services of certain odors and smells.

  • As embalming became more widespread, flowers still remained a focus. In the early part of the 20th century, many funeral homes would welcome in the flowers and create the powerful and elaborate affect of an outdoor garden right there in the room where mourners came to pay their respects.
  • Flowers have also taken on the added significance of representing life itself. They bloom, they grow and thrive, and then they pass on. In Christian lore, flowers have also come to symbolize God’s love for his children.
  • Funeral service flowers come in various types of flowers and arrangements. There is the popular wreath which has come to symbolize the circle of life as well as the predominant spray. Many funeral homes also offer the casket spray which is a beautiful display of freshly cut flowers that adorn the casket itself.
  • There are those, however, who choose not to send flowers or are asked that flowers not be received. In Jewish tradition, mourners are asked to make charitable donations. Others choose to show their support in other various ways such as sending letters and cards. Sometimes this is a wonderful gift to the family. There are times when someone who doesn’t really know the family, knew the deceased quite well. A heartfelt card or letter with remembrances of that friendship can be a long treasured reminder for the family.
  • Finally, many choose to show their respect and emotional support by preparing and delivering food to the bereaved family. Following a funeral service, things can get disjointed, confusing and hectic. Showing up to the family home with some prepared food can greatly ease the burden that everyone is going through and to show solidarity with their suffering.