When a loved one passes away, the grieving process can be incredibly difficult. Funeral flowers and sympathy arrangements play a vital role in expressing condolences and offering comfort to the bereaved. Among the myriad of options, mourning flowers carry a unique symbolism that communicates a simple but essential message of sympathy, respect, and remembrance.

Here’s a look at some classic and elegant funeral flowers along with classic and elegant arrangements sure to help give solace to your grieving family.

Sympathy Flowers

The designation of certain flowers as “sympathy flowers” stems from various cultural, historical, and symbolic influences that have imbued these blooms with meanings of grief, respect, and remembrance. Historically, flowers have played a role in funeral rites and memorials across different civilizations, often selected for their symbolic meanings and natural beauty.

  • For instance, lilies, with their serene and majestic appearance, have been used to symbolize the soul’s restored innocence upon death.
  • Roses are versatile in their color meanings. When red, they convey deep love and respect, and when white, innocence or reverence.
  • In European and Asian cultures, the tradition of using flowers like chrysanthemums in funeral services comes from their association with lamentation and grief.

Over time, these flowers have been consistently chosen to express sympathy due to their ability to convey complex emotions non-verbally, a practice that has solidified their role in funeral customs around the world.

As these traditions were passed down through generations, certain flowers gained prominence as the most fitting tribute to convey condolence, support, and respect, ultimately becoming known universally as sympathy flowers.

1- Carnations

Pink carnations are a popular choice for funeral services due to their soft color and meaning, which conveys remembrance and the love of a mother. White carnations, on the other hand, represent purity and innocence. Their long-lasting nature makes them excellent for sympathy flower arrangements that aim to offer lasting comfort to the grieving family.

2- Forget-Me-Nots

True to their name, forget-me-nots communicate enduring memory and love. These tiny blue flowers are often added to bouquets to emphasize the strong ties and moral integrity of the departed. Including forget-me-nots in a sympathy bouquet offers hope and serves as a powerful symbol that the loved one will always be remembered.

3- Pink Roses (And Red and Yellow)

Roses are versatile and convey different emotions depending on their color. Red roses profoundly express love and grief, while white roses tend to symbolize innocence and reverence.

Yellow roses, often sent as sympathy flowers, carry the warmth of friendship and remembrance.

Pink roses add a note of appreciation and grace, making them suitable for the funeral of someone who has had a significant impact on the lives of others.

4- Tulips

Tulips are another excellent choice for expressing sympathy due to their elegant shape and soothing colors.

Red tulips can convey a message of love, while white tulips are often associated with forgiveness. Purple tulips symbolize dignity and honor, and yellow tulips can brighten the arrangement, representing cheerfulness even in difficult times.

5- Chrysanthemums

In many European countries, white chrysanthemums are exclusively used for funerals or to express sympathy, as they symbolize death and lamentation.

Their full, round blooms make them ideal for creating fan sprays and more extensive sympathy arrangements. They are considered a classic and elegant choice that reflects deep respect and sorrow.

6- Lilies

Lilies, particularly white stargazer lilies, are commonly associated with funerals because they represent the restored innocence of the soul of the departed.

The striking appearance of lilies makes them a central choice in funeral floral arrangements, conveying a message of peace and sympathy with profound elegance and beauty.

7- Orchids

Orchids are known for their delicate beauty and longevity, making them a popular choice as a sympathy gift. Pink and white orchids are particularly favored for their associations with grace, beauty, and eternal love.

Sending orchids can express sympathy in a way that transcends words, offering comfort to those mourning the loss of a loved one.

Each of these flowers, whether chosen individually or as part of a mixed arrangement, helps convey heartfelt sympathy and support during the mourning period. They serve not only as a tribute to the deceased’s life and memory but also significantly comfort the family during the funeral and beyond.

If You Send Funeral Flowers: A Short Guide on When to Send Flowers and to Whom

Sending flowers is a thoughtful way to express sympathy, show support, and offer hope during times of grief or significant life events. 

Understanding when and to whom to send flowers can help convey the right message at the right time. Here are some guidelines:

At the Time of Death

Sending condolence flowers to the family’s home or the funeral home as soon as you hear of the death is a common practice. Flowers like white roses symbolize reverence and can express sympathy gracefully. 

A bouquet of lilies or orchids can signify a restoration of purity to the departed soul and offer hope to the grieving family.

During the Funeral

Sending flowers directly to the funeral home is appropriate. These are usually larger arrangements that can include a mix of flowers like chrysanthemums and roses, which are traditional for expressing deep respect and sorrow. 

Ensure your flower choice reflects the solemnity of the occasion; for example, forget-me-nots communicate enduring remembrance and support.

However, read the obituary before you send flowers to the funeral home. Some families ask for donations to a cherished cause instead.


After the funeral, it is a kind gesture to send flowers to the home of the closest family members. This act shows ongoing support as they continue to mourn. 

Cut flowers or a small, living plant can provide comfort during the grieving process.

On Anniversaries of the Death

Marking the anniversary of a death with flowers is a thoughtful way to show continued remembrance and support. 

Flowers like purple or pink orchids can remind the bereaved that they are not alone and that the memory of their loved one lives on.

Who to Send Flowers To

  • Immediate Family: Spouse, children, or parents of the deceased typically receive flowers directly.
  • Close Relatives and Friends: A smaller arrangement or a single flower, like a yellow rose to signify friendship and support, can be very meaningful.
  • Colleagues or Acquaintances: Sending flowers to the family home or funeral service as a group can be an appropriate way to express sympathy from a business or organization.

Key Points to Remember

  • Choose flowers that convey the appropriate sentiment. For example, a white rose for purity and reverence, or a pink bouquet for appreciation and grace.
  • Consider the symbolism of the flower in relation to the deceased and their family.
  • Include a card with a personal message to express your condolences and thoughts, which adds a personal touch to your gesture.

By following these guidelines, your act of sending flowers can provide significant comfort and convey your deepest sympathies effectively during these crucial times.

We Can Help

At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we specialize in creating meaningful and dignified funeral and memorial services that honor your loved ones. We understand the importance of every detail in these solemn moments and are committed to providing comprehensive support in planning and coordinating all aspects of the ceremony.

While we focus on orchestrating funeral and memorial events, we also offer the convenience of selecting flowers directly through our website. This is part of our commitment to ease the organizational burden during your time of grief and ensure a seamless and respectful experience.

If you are in need of arranging a funeral or memorial service, or if you simply want to explore planning options, get in touch with us. Our compassionate team is here to assist you every step of the way, helping you to honor your loved one with grace and dignity.