Flowers are a popular condolence gift. When we’re unable to put our thoughts into words, flowers work as a visual expression of comfort and sympathy to those mourning, as well as respect to the departed. However, picking the right type of flowers to send to a funeral service is not as straightforward as it may seem. The type and colour of a flower can carry meanings which vary in different cultures. Making the wrong choice of flowers can lead to misunderstandings or even be interpreted as offensive. Therefore, it’s crucial that you pick the sympathy flowers that are suitable for the departed’s culture.
When it comes to a Buddhist funeral, flowers also have unique meanings attached to them. If you’re considering sending a wreath or bouquet of flowers to someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one, here are some things you should keep in mind when picking which flowers to send.
1. Purpose of flowers
Flowers are significant in a Buddhist funeral. Their main purpose is to spread peace and serenity – a hallmark of the sorrowful event in Buddhist culture. Buddhist funerals are often held at home instead of the temple, and flowers are used to signify mourning in the house. Mourners attending the funeral are expected to bring fruits and flowers as an offering to Buddha for the serenity of the departed soul. Flowers are used as a display at the altar, next to the incense, candles, and portrait of the departed person.
2. Colours are important
One of the most eye-catching qualities of flowers is their colours. But colours have key meanings in Buddhist culture. Yellow or white flowers are the most appropriate to send to a Buddhist funeral. White is a prime choice for Buddhist funeral flowers, as it’s often used when mourning. It’s also the colour of purity and liberation to symbolise the departed’s soul being freed from this lifetime. You could also go for yellow since it’s a sacred colour to Buddhist and represents an ongoing pilgrimage towards enlightenment.
However, red flowers should be avoided at all times. Red symbolises joy and celebration – sentiments that are incongruent during a sorrowful event like the death of a loved one. If you wish to add some variation to the arrangement, be sure to stick to pale and neutral colours as a sign of respect during this time of grief.
3. Flowers types and their meanings
Apart from colours, Buddhists also attach meanings to specific types of flowers. Lotuses, chrysanthemums, and lilies are commonly sent as condolence flowers for Buddhist funerals, as they stand for values like peace, purity, and freedom – making them safe choices. However, the lotus flower remains the most meaningful for Buddhists, as it signifies the highest level of spirituality for them – portraying a pure body and mind. Other appropriate flowers include orchids and carnations.
4. Choose an arrangement
Upon choosing the type and colour of flowers you intend to send, you may be faced with several options on how you wish to arrange them. Many florists in Singapore would recommend wreaths for a funeral because they are easy to display. You may also have the option to include a message that can be displayed on the arrangement. You can add a simple “Condolences” or “Deepest sympathy” message, or you may write a more personalised note if you wish.
Condolence flowers are an excellent sympathy gift if you choose them correctly. If you’re still in doubt, you can always consult the family of the departed or the funeral service provider. At Casket Fairprice, we have more than two decades in providing funeral services in Singapore. Whether it’s a Buddhist or Christian funeral, we have the relevant expertise to give the departed a memorable send-off with dignity and respect.