why do we send flowers to funerals
While sending flowers to the funeral home is a common and thoughtful gesture in many parts of the county, you should not send flowers to a Jewish funeral. Jewish funerals are quite solemn and often occur within 24 hours of the time of death. The family is in mourning, and this is not a time to celebrate the life of the deceased. The Jewish funeral takes place as soon after death as possible, although it may be delayed to allow time for planning or to allow mourners to travel. The body is washed according to ritual tradition and buried in a simple wooden casket, without embalming. The immediate family, including parents, children and siblings observe a seven day period of intense mourning, or shivah, in which the family remains at home, prayers are said, and mourning practices are followed. The bereaved continue certain practices for 30 days and others for a full year after a death in a Jewish family. While Christian and secular funerals in the west include flowers, wreaths and live plants, both for the viewing and funeral service, these are not present at a Jewish funeral. There is no viewing of the body, and the funeral service itself is brief and solemn, consisting of psalms, prayers and a eulogy. The funeral service may be held at the graveside, synagogue or funeral home.
If you would like to express sympathy and share the grief of Jewish friends in mourning, you can opt to provide meals, visit during shivah, send a condolence card, or make a gift to charity. In many cases, the family will note a preferred charity in the obituary, but donations to any appropriate cause are acceptable and appreciated. If you wish to take food to the grieving family, check to make sure that you meet any food requirements and opt to order food from a kosher service if the family is Orthodox. While it is not acceptable to send flowers to the funeral home or family home, if you d like to send a plant some months later to let the family know they re in your thoughts, choose a simple and attractive houseplant, like a. Jewish tradition marks the first anniversary of a death with ritual, and this can also be a thoughtful time to make a charitable contribution in the deceased s name.
For years,Ppeople have sent flowers to funerals in order to provide much needed love and support to families grieving the loss of a loved one. ButPdid you know there is actually a longPhistory behind this tradition? Furthermore, were you aware that the you choose can actually express different sentiments? In part one of our two-part series on funeral flowers, we want to share the history and symbolic meaning behind sympathy flowers to shed some light on a topic that has become a corePtradition in modern culture.
Ancient Burial Rites Sending flowers to a funeral is not a modern custom. PPIn fact, according to, archaeologistsPhave discovered evidence dating back to 60,000 BC of flower fragments surrounding corpses at ancientPburial sites. It is unsure exactly what purposePthese flowers served, but researchers hypothesizePthat the flowers were used in a type of burial ritual or ceremony. Practical Application What is now seen as a beautiful and sentimental gesture to the family, adorning a body with plants and flowers had a much more practical application in the past. Prior to modern day embalming, a body would begin decomposing before services were held. Surrounding a body with flowers would help mask the odor of decomposition for a more pleasant gathering. Though modern-day advancements have made this problem obsolete, the tradition of sending flowers to a funeral still remains. Modern Day Today, friends and relativesPof the deceased s family stillPshare their lovePand support by sendingPflowers for a number of reasons, the most common of which is to offer sympathy through a beautiful and meaningfulPgift. But do different flowers convey different sentiments?
The next section covers the most common funeral flowers, and the symbolic meaning behind each. According toP, The type of flowers you choose can express your particular sentiment. The traditional language of flowers provides a way to convey your feelings and send a meaningful message, ( ). PSee below for a brief overview of the symbolic meaning behind the most common funeral flowers. Lilies The lily is the flower most commonly associated with funeral services as they symbolize the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed. Gladioli Typically used in fan sprays as a classic and elegant arrangement for traditional funeral services, the gladiolus embodies strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity. Carnations Long lasting and fragrant, carnations are a popular choice for sympathy arrangements. The red carnation evokes admiration while a pink carnation stands for remembrance. White carnations stand for pure love and innocence. Chrysanthemums Mums are frequently included in arrangements for funeral services. Their symbolic meaning varies from country to country, but in the US, they symbolize truth and the flower is usually regarded as positive and cheerful, althoughPNew Orleans isPa notable exception.
Roses As one of the most recognizable flowers, roses can be a beautiful part of an arrangement of funeral flowers. White roses evoke reverence, humility, innocence, and youthfulness. Red roses convey respect, love, and courage. Pink roses signify love, grace, appreciation, and gentility. Dark crimson roses denote grief and sorrow. Yellow roses are given by friends of the deceased to symbolize their strong ties. Orchids Orchids say I will always love you. When giving an orchid plant as a gesture of sympathy, it is important to give consideration to color. Pink and white are traditional colors of sympathy. Hydrangea Sending a seasonal spring plant is a nice and appropriate gesture forPa grieving family. The hydragea is a gift of thanks in repayment for understanding and is given as a gesture of heartfelt sincerity. Daffodils and Tulips Bright yellow spring tulips and daffodils are a symbol of renewal and fresh starts. For this reason, they are believed to bring encouragement and hope to a person who is grieving or unhappy so they make a great choice to send as a sympathy gift to the family home of the departed. Stay tuned for of our funeral flower series, debuting tomorrow, November 13. We will cover what families can do with funeral flowers after the service.
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