Flowers are a very common condolence gift. There’s just something about the natural qualities of it that makes it so beautiful, meaningful, and appreciated. However, giving flowers as sympathy gifts is not a straightforward matter. The colours and types of flowers can bring across messages to the recipient, and making the wrong choice may lead to awkward situations and misunderstandings.
In the context of Buddhist funeral services, flowers also have their own meanings. While you may be considering sending a bouquet or wreath to someone you know who is grieving over a departed loved one, here are some things to pay attention to when choosing which flowers to send.
One of the first things people notice about flowers is their colour. The go-to colours for Buddhist funerals are white or yellow. White is the colour for mourning, and also symbolises purity and emancipation – that is, being freed from this lifetime. Yellow is a sacred colour in Buddhism, and also represents human’s ongoing journey towards enlightenment.
Red flowers should be avoided at Buddhist funerals, as red is associated with joy and celebration – sentiments that are highly incongruent with death. If you’d like to add some variety to the flower arrangement, stick to pale and subdued colours as a respectful sign of grief and consolation.
Flower types and meanings
White and yellow may be the best colour choices, but will any type of flowers do? It seems that Buddhists hold some flowers dearer than others. Most commonly, you will see people gifting lilies, chrysanthemums, and lotuses at Buddhist funerals. These stand for values like purity, peace, and freedom, and are very safe choices as condolence flowers.
The lotus is particularly meaningful for Buddhists as it symbolises the highest level of spirituality, depicting a pure body and mind. Other acceptable flowers are orchids and carnations.
Floral arrangement options
After choosing the colour scheme and type of flowers, you may be faced with options on how you want the flowers to be arranged. In Singapore, flower wreaths or sprays are the most default options for sympathy flower arrangements. This is due to the ease of displaying them at the wake or funeral.
With most florists, you’ll also be able to add a message to display on the arrangement. Messages like ‘Deepest sympathy’ or ‘Condolences’ work just fine, or you can have a more personalised message if you so wish.
Condolence flowers are an excellent gift if you know the right ones to gift. If in doubt, you can always consult the family in-charge of the funeral, or the funeral company. Most florists offering condolence flowers will also know the conventions for condolence gifting.
Apart from flowers, there are also plenty of other ways you can show your care and condolences to the bereaved. Some may prefer cash donations to tide the family through the time, or to donate to charities.
For assistance regarding Buddhist funeral arrangements in Singapore, you can always contact 1Stop Buddhist Funeral Services for top-notch guidance and seamless arrangements.