A Guide For Choosing the Right Sympathy Flowers
When the obituary says “In Lieu of Flowers…”
The obituary states that “In Lieu of Flowers…” should you send flowers anyways? Based on a 2014 survey of members of the National Funeral Directors Association conducted by the American Floral Endowment; flowers play an important role in the American funeral ritual. Symbolically flowers displayed an amount of tribute and respect towards the deceased, are an expression of sympathy by the sender, and provided comfort and warmth to the funeral setting.
The type of arrangement sent should be appropriate to the funeral service. In a traditional service setting floral tributes are made for the Wake held at a Funeral Home followed by the Funeral Service at a religious House of Worship and Internment at a Cemetery. Flowers would be transported and displayed at each location. Many times, certain pieces may be left at the House of Worship or Cemetery. The traditional funeral service may span 2 – 3 days. Flowers provide a constant source of support during this emotional period of mourning for family.
Contemporary funerals, sometimes called “Celebrations of Life” are gatherings that may last one day or just a few hours. It is the single day funeral service that has left many to think that the traditional floral tribute is not necessary or practical. Overlooked is the role that flowers play; providing comfort for the family, respect towards the deceased and a means to express sympathy. The style of the floral tribute can be adapted for the single day funeral service. Since tributes will be displayed at a single location and often taken home by family members the size and transportability are of primary concern. Tributes made in vases and baskets are a good alternative to the larger traditional floral sprays. Plants are another popular option, as plants will offer a longer period of comfort and remembrance for family.
Flowers as an expression of sympathy is even more significant when due to work and personal obligations or physical distances prevent you the opportunity to attend the funeral service. In these cases, overlooking the “In Lieu of Flowers” is very much acceptable. The family and friends of the deceased are still mourning, and flowers will convey your sorrow. In other instances, such as the family’s decision to forgo a service or the service is stated as private, then flowers sent to a family members home is best. Again, it is the message of expressing your sympathy and offering comfort that flowers offer to the family at a difficult and emotional time.
Authors note – This is the first of a series of articles that will address many questions that as a professional Florist, are asked by our clients regarding fresh flowers for funerals.
Theresa Morone is a Certified Florist through the National Alliance of Floral Associations. She has owned and operated her retail shop, Floral Accents in North Tonawanda, NY for over 20 years.Future Articles
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