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Understanding the Difference Between Sympathy and Funeral Flowers

May 4, 2023

Honoring the Departed with Grace

When expressing condolences and paying tribute to a loved one who has passed away, flowers play a significant role in conveying emotions and providing comfort. Sympathy and funeral flowers are commonly used, but they serve different purposes and hold distinct meanings. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the difference between sympathy and funeral flowers, helping you navigate the sensitive process of selecting and sending appropriate floral arrangements to honor the departed and offer solace to their grieving loved ones.

Sympathy Flowers: Offering Comfort and Support

Sympathy flowers are traditionally sent to the bereaved family or individual as an expression of compassion, comfort, and support. They are typically sent before or after the funeral or memorial service and are not displayed during the ceremony. Sympathy flowers serve as a gesture of solidarity and empathy, providing solace during the grieving process. Here’s what you need to know about sympathy flowers:

1. Types of Sympathy Floral Arrangements

Sympathy flowers come in various forms, including bouquets, flower baskets, and vase arrangements. They often feature soft and soothing colors, such as whites, pastels, or gentle hues, symbolizing purity, peace, and serenity. Common flowers used for sympathy arrangements include lilies, roses, carnations, and chrysanthemums.

2. Sending Sympathy Flowers

Sympathy flowers are typically sent to the bereaved family’s home or the location where they are receiving visitors. They offer comfort during the mourning period and serve as a reminder that others are thinking of and supporting them. It’s important to consider the family’s cultural or religious customs when selecting and sending sympathy flowers.

3. Sympathy Card Messages

When sending sympathy flowers, it’s customary to include a heartfelt condolence message in a sympathy card. This message should express your condolences, offer support, and share fond memories of the departed if appropriate. The card can provide comfort and serve as a tangible reminder of your presence during a difficult time.

Funeral Flowers: Paying Tribute and Honoring the Departed

Funeral flowers, also known as memorial or tribute flowers, are specifically intended for display during the funeral or memorial service. They are designed to pay homage to the deceased and celebrate their life. Funeral flowers hold deep symbolism and convey respect and admiration. Here are key points to understand about funeral flowers:

1. Types of Funeral Floral Arrangements

Funeral flowers come in various forms, including casket sprays, standing sprays, wreaths, crosses, and floral tributes. They are often larger and more elaborate than sympathy flowers, as they serve as a focal point during the funeral service. Funeral floral arrangements may incorporate the deceased’s favorite flowers, colors, or meaningful symbols.

2. Placing Funeral Flowers

Funeral flowers are typically displayed near the casket, urn, or memorial site during the service. They serve as a visual tribute and a way to honor the departed. The arrangement may be chosen by close family members or designated individuals, and it often reflects the personality, interests, or preferences of the deceased.

3. Funeral Etiquette for Sending Flowers

When sending funeral flowers, it’s essential to follow proper etiquette. Consider the family’s wishes, religious or cultural customs, and any specific instructions provided by the funeral home. If you’re unsure about the appropriate floral arrangement or delivery location, it’s advisable to consult with a professional florist or the funeral director for guidance.