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Selecting Flowers for Your Funeral Arrangements

The Catholic Church allows a mass of Christian burial to feature flowers. The Church prefers that flowers are used in moderation. At the Catholic funeral service in a Los Altos-area church, the flowers can be arranged around the altar, but never on top of it. Flowers are not permitted during Lent. Beyond these requirements, you have considerable flexibility in choosing which flowers to include in your pre-arranged funeral planning.


Chrysanthemums, often called mums, are widely recognized as being symbolic of death and grief. They have long been a common sight at gravesites throughout European countries. If you choose to include mums in your pre-need funeral plans, you may wish to specify the colors you prefer. Chrysanthemums are available in a wide range of colors—from vivid orange to cheerful yellow. Specify that your funeral flowers are to be in only somber colors, such as white or very dark, dusky red. In the Catholic tradition, bright, cheerfully colored flowers at a funeral are discouraged, however, sometimes a person’s favorite color is chosen.


As the Virgin Mary wept for Jesus while He carried the cross, it’s said that the tears caused carnations to bloom. Because of this, the carnation is symbolic of a mother’s love. White carnations reflect the values of innocence, virtue, and purity, and are always appropriate choices for a funeral.


The Virgin Mary is closely associated with roses. She is sometimes referred to as the “rose without thorns.” Cathedrals built during the 12 th century often included a “rose window,” which was usually situated above the entrance,and was dedicated to Mary. In the third century, Saint Ambrose proposed the idea that roses without thorns were originally present in the Garden of Eden. After the fall, the roses grew thorns. For your pre-need funeral plan, it’s appropriate to include white roses, which are symbolic of the purity of the Virgin Mary. You may also specify the inclusion of red roses, which symbolize martyrdom, grief, and sorrow. Placing just one rose in a bouquet symbolizes enduring love for those who have passed on. Often, individual roses are placed on the casket by close family members.


The Peace Lily is another symbolic choice that is sometimes associated with the resurrection. It features star-shaped white flowers. Unfortunately, many people are allergic to the Peace Lily. It would be considerate to request that Peace Lilies be placed some distance away from the pews and, at the funeral home during the wake, the Peace Lilies should be placed away from the casket.

Funeral flowers

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