It was said that there were probably two reasons flowers were used originally at funerals in ancient times. One, flowers are a symbol of renewed life, because each spring the flowers return to life. Two, flowers have a pleasing fragrance to help cover the smell of embalmed bodies.
Flowers can help to bring an atmosphere of comfort and cheer to the funeral service. For some people it is an essential part. It is a way of conveying feelings of sympathy when the words are so hard to find.
Each type of flower in and of itself has a symbolic meaning. According to the Telaflora website, lilies are a symbol for innocence and purity. Gladioli embody strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity. Carnations are long lasting and fragrant, and symbolize pure love and innocence. Chrysanthemums in many cultures represent death and sympathy, but here in the United States can be used to mean truth and can be cheerful. Roses have different symbols for each color. Here are some examples: “White roses evoke reverence, humility, innocence, and youthfulness. Red roses convey respect, love, and courage. Pink roses signify love, grace, appreciation and gentility. Dark crimson roses denote grief and sorrow. Yellow roses are given by friends of the deceased to symbolize their strong ties. When you include a single rose in a bouquet it expresses enduring love for the deceased.”
I help family and friends pick their floral arrangements. We begin by talking about the personalities of their loved ones. Some were gardeners themselves, some loved pink or red. Next we discuss how the flowers should represent the family member’s memories. Some families want bright vibrant colors to go along their loved ones had bright robust personalities. Some want roses specifically others want to have a variety.
Sometimes, when I speak with people living out of state, they tell me they do not know what they are looking for specifically, but they know the feeling they want the flowers to convey. It is a fun process to begin with a vague image and then to arrive at something they would like to send.
I love flowers. I love to see the way flowers change the atmosphere of viewings and funeral services.
American Fork Chapel
49 East 100 North
American Fork, UT 84003
Lone Peak Chapel
6141 West 11000 North
Highland, UT 84003