Flower Meanings and Arrangements for Funerals - Toronto Flower Story

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Flower Meanings and Arrangements for Funerals

September 21, 2021

Flower Meanings and Arrangements for Funerals

Flowers have been used to express compassion, grief, and love for the deceased since the earliest times. People frequently utilize funeral flowers to help them release their emotions if they find it difficult to express their grief verbally. 

When it comes to deciding what type of funeral flowers to give, many individuals are stumped as to what colour and flower type to send. Each time you give flowers, the sort of flowers you choose delivers a distinct message. While some people prefer to give money tokens instead, funeral flowers have a deeper meaning in terms of expressing compassion to the survivors.

A Brief History of Funeral Flowers

While flower arrangements have long been used in funerals around the world, their function was completely different from what we have now. Flower arrangements were employed to cover up any unpleasant smells before the embalming process was discovered.  Environmental conditions and the general state of the body influenced flower arrangements and flower types.

Today, funeral flowers are used in a variety of ways. Rather than masking odours, we now use flower arrangements as a way of expressing sympathy for the bereaved. Flowers contribute to the creation of a warm atmosphere, providing comfort to family and friends at their time of grief. 

Why Funeral Flowers Are Important


Flowers convey deeper feelings of sympathy

Because funeral flowers are now used to express unspoken feelings of grief and love, they have become a central part of every funeral. These are some reasons why flowers are given much importance during funerals and why it’s important to know what colour funeral flowers should be.  

Flowers have sentimental value

Humans are passionate and emotional creatures. Flowers are sentimental because, despite their short lives, we lavish attention on them. It's a reminder of how fleeting life is and how it should be valued more. Furthermore, because fresh flowers are more expensive than synthetic flowers or other tokens, sending genuine flowers shows your effort and love for the recipient.

It brings a memorable atmosphere

Despite the fact that flowers are delicate and may wilt before the funeral is through, the majority of the deceased's family will remember your floral tribute as part of their healing process. The flower arrangements give the surviving family the impression that you have always been thinking of them during their difficult moments.

Funeral flowers can be personalized to express sympathy

Flower arrangements are one-of-a-kind in that they may be customized in any way. They're adaptable and can be organized to convey whatever message you wish.

Types of Flowers for a Funeral and What They Mean


Flowers can be used to express different messages

It's not as simple as picking what looks the prettiest or what's the most expensive when it comes to flowers. Depending on the type and colour of the flower, it has a varied connotation. Using the wrong flower could give the wrong message to the relatives of the deceased so make sure you've got the right one. Here are some of the most commonly used funeral flowers and what they represent.


Deeper red roses express regret

Roses are one of the most well-known flower types, and they are commonly used for every occasion. Each rose hue, like the colours of other flowers, has a different meaning. 

White roses are often associated with reverence, humility, and purity. For their symbolism of love, grace, and gratitude, pink roses are more typically chosen for young love. Yellow roses, on the other hand, are typically offered by friends as a token of their close bond. Dark crimson roses are one of the most widely used hues in funeral flower arrangements, and they represent regret and sorrow.

No matter the colour, roses can still be a part of your chosen funeral arrangement. Just make sure you use the appropriate shade to convey your message.


Lilies are one of the most popular funeral flower choices. They have a particular smell that helps people recall precious moments such as Mother's Day or Easter Sundays. Lilies are also the most preferred because they symbolize the deceased's innocence, which is said to be restored after their death. Lilies come in a variety of colours, each of which has its own set of meanings. White lilies are symbolic of purity, whereas white stargazer lilies are symbolic of sympathy.


Carnations are popular flowers for funerals and are usually used as wreaths and standing sprays. The red carnation symbolizes love and admiration, while the pink carnation symbolizes recollection. 

Calla Lilies

Calla lilies represent resurrection and rebirth, which is why these flowers are one of the most traditional choices for funeral arrangements. At funerals, they can also mean the idea of purification of a departed soul.


Orchids represent and express eternal love. Despite their lack of popularity in floral arrangements, orchids have the ability to transmit more intense feelings of love than any other flower. Orchids, however, are best presented in a pot rather than in an elaborate funeral arrangement due to their fragility.


Chrysanthemums are commonly found in funerals and graveyards in the West. While on the other side of the world, in Asian countries like China and Japan, chrysanthemums are associated with lamentation and sorrow and may be used to decorate the home of the deceased.

Types of Flower Arrangements

Flower arrangements vary according to purpose

It's just as vital to pick the right flower arrangements as it is to pick the right flower to communicate your message. Because flowers vary in fragility and design, some arrangements may not be appropriate for your chosen flower.

Urn flower arrangements

This style of flower arrangement is usually purchased by the immediate family. Although it may be given by a close relative in some situations. It's used to decorate an urn with floral arrangements, as the name suggests. For public display, most families like to wrap it around the urn. If you're ordering it for someone else, make sure you understand their intentions so you can ask the florist how the flowers should be arranged.

Standing Sprays

You may have noticed standing sprays as a type of funeral floral arrangement. It is placed beside the casket and displayed on an easel. Standing sprays allow only one side of the flower arrangement to be seen, so putting this style of the flower arrangement will take some thought and planning to make room for your other arrangements. While this flower arrangement is typically presented in funeral homes for public viewings, it is not always the case. This can, however, also be sent to cemeteries and utilized for graveside funeral ceremonies.

Wreaths, Crosses, and Hearts

Just like standing sprays, wreaths, crosses, and hearts are also displayed near the casket and placed in an easel. But unlike standing sprays, these three types of arrangements are more elaborate and prominent. This is best used and given to family members. The circular shape of the wreath represents life eternal, the cross is for faith, and the heart-shaped arrangement stands for the love of the family. 

Dish Gardens or Plants

Dish gardens or plants are a collection of green plants that are often placed in a basket or pot in a creative manner. While it is usual to discard all funeral flowers once the service is over, dish gardens and plants can last longer and can be taken home by the family as a lasting memento.

The crescent flower arrangement

The c-arrangement is another name for this. Fresh flowers are arranged in a basket with a variety of green fillers in this arrangement. Coloured paper wrapping is used to support the basket and the fresh flowers inside.

Floral Baskets

Floral baskets are a great way to showcase the flowers you've chosen. A floral basket has the advantage of being available in a range of sizes, depending on the buyer's preference. It's also convenient, making it easier to move and work around when the other flower arrangements begin to arrive. Floral baskets, unlike other funeral floral arrangements, can be delivered at any time during and after the funeral. After all, we can never offer our sorrow and sympathies too late.


Funeral flowers may not be customary for some

While sending and receiving funeral flowers are standard practices in many countries and cultures, you must always exercise caution. Flowers are not commonly given during funerals or periods of grief in various religions, such as Jewish and Islamic. Bringing flowers is also frowned upon in Hinduism as you are expected to arrive empty-handed. It's usually a good idea to double-check the habits and customs of the deceased before paying your respects.

It's critical to pick the proper flower so you don't send the wrong message. As a result, it's always a good idea to check with your local florist about the different varieties of flowers and how to make funeral flower arrangements.

Always check locally when considering where to get funeral flowers so they remain fresh when they arrive. If you’d like to attend somebody’s wake in Ontario, funeral flowers would best be ordered from a florist who is familiar with local customs.  

For funeral flower and floral arrangement needs, call Flower Story at 416-797-9774. We will personalize an arrangement for you.