Funeral Flowers for Different Faiths

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, September 11, 2023

Faith and culture play a large role in the proper etiquette of a funeral service, and this also applies to the types of arrangements you should consider when sending flowers. Certain flowers and arrangements are welcome at a funeral. An arrangement should provide comfort to those close to the departed, and help lift spirits during the time of mourning. When you send a proper arrangement, it shows that you truly care.


If the departed is Catholic, almost any style of arrangement is acceptable. As for the flowers, many churches will frown upon the sending of artificial arrangements. While this may seem like a good idea because they are made to last, it may not be the best choice. Floral arrangements in the shape of crosses, bible stands, and other religious ornamentations are usually acceptable. Keep in mind that floral rosaries are usually a gift from grandchildren or close relatives. Donations in the name of the deceased are also acceptable in most cases. 


Christians of Protestant faiths will generally be accepting of any type of flowers, in both arrangements and species. It is common for loved ones to send flowers to both the funeral, as well as the memorial service. Sending flowers to one or both of these is acceptable.

Greek Orthodox

While it is a part of the Greek Orthodox tradition for close members of the family to place flowers onto the casket during the burial; it is acceptable for others to send floral arrangements to the funeral. It is usually up to the immediate family and close relatives to send the biggest arrangements. Smaller displays such as baskets or crosses are best for friends and extended family to send. Most flowers are acceptable, but white flowers are the most appropriate. Apple Blossoms and Lilies are the most common choices.


For those of the Mormon faith, you should avoid arrangements in the shape of crosses or crucifixes. For followers of the Mormon faith, the cross puts too much emphasis on the vessel of Christ’s death, rather than the resurrection. It is generally considered to be offensive to send one to a funeral. 


For mourners of the Jewish faith, flowers are generally not accepted at the funeral home. Some arrangements may be set up outside of the synagogue, but this is generally under the purview of the immediate family. Smaller arrangements, gift baskets, and plates of Kosher food are acceptable to send to the home where the Shiva is being held. Donations to charity in the departed’s name are also acceptable. 


The etiquette of flowers sent to a follower of the Muslim faith’s funeral will vary based on the opinion of their mosque, generally. If possible, check with a leader of their mosque, or with a close family member, first. If it is acceptable, roses and other fragrant flowers are the most appropriate. For the gravesite, palm branches or individual flowers may be laid on the ground, and larger arrangements should be avoided.


For followers of Buddhism, red flowers should be avoided. Red in Buddhism symbolizes lifeforce, preservation, fire, and sacred things or places. It is considered to be in poor taste to send red flowers, but white ones are the traditional choice. Donations to charity are also acceptable. Gifts of food are generally frowned upon.


Hindu funerals tend to have fewer floral arrangements, but the casket is often adorned with flower garlands and small sprays. If you wish to send flowers, avoid bigger arrangements, and send them to the funeral home in advance. This is because mourners are expected to show up empty-handed; as is custom.

Most religions are accepting and welcoming of flower arrangements in one way or another. They lift spirits and give hope to those in mourning. In addition to memorials, we offer a full range of beautiful flower arrangements. Please note that this article is referring to general traditions based on faiths. Not all families of that faith will subscribe to every tradition of their religion. You can always check with the funeral home to see if the family had specific instructions regarding the sending of flowers.

For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way. Visit our in-house gift shop to order an arrangement, or visit our online store.

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