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The Meaning of Funeral & Sympathy Flowers

Flowers have long been an important part of funeral ceremonies, and each variety has its own unique meaning. Before you choose an arrangement to express your condolences, learn more about different types of sympathy flowers and what they symbolize.

calla lily
Calla Lily

The calla lily is featured in the Christian Easter service as a symbol of Jesus' resurrection and represents holiness, faith and rebirth. Additionally, they have come to represent youth and beauty.

carnation
Carnation

Carnations are a popular choice for funeral or sympathy arrangements. Each color symbolizes a specific emotion. White represents innocence and untainted love. Pink is associated with remembrance of the deceased. Red means admiration for a loved one that has passed away.

chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum

Also known by its abbreviated name, 'mum,' this flower has different meanings depending on its color and the country in which it's found. In the U.S., red mums mean love, while white signifies innocence and truth.

daffodil
Daffodils

Daffodils symbolize rebirth and new beginnings. Because of this, they make an excellent flower arrangement for religious families. In China,the daffodil is associated with good fortune. In Japan, it means mirth and joy. In French, the daffodil means 'esperance' or 'hope.

gardenia
Gardenia

Gardenias are a white flower that represents purity & peace. The beautiful, fragrant flowers of a gardenia offer comfort to those who are grieving. The gardenia also symbolizes love, making it a touching choice for remembering the lives of family & friends.

gladiolus
Gladiolus

The gladiolus is also know as the "sword lily" because it can grow up to four feet tall. It has many symbolic meanings, including integrity, sincerity and strength of character, and is available in a range of colors, including pink, orange, red, white, purple, yellow and salmon.

hydrangea
Hydrangea

The hydrangea blooms in spring, symbolizing a sense of renewal. Its meaning is not as well known as other funeral flowers, but some believe it also conveys true, heartfelt emotions. Hydrangeas can thrive in almost any type of soil.

lilys
Lily

The lily is the flower most commonly associated with bereavement, specifically when it's white in color. White lilies symbolize innocence, the rebirth of the soul and purity. Additionally, the Oriental lily signifies sympathy and the Stargazer symbolizes eternal life.

orchids
Orchid

Families often choose orchids for their long-lasting nature, so they can keep them for a while after the funeral. Typically, orchids of any color symbolize everlasting love, but funeral flower arrangements often include white and/or pink orchids to convey sympathy.

roses
Rose

In most situations, roses, especially red, symbolize love. Other colors, however, can have different meanings. White means innocence and humility, while pink means appreciation and grace. Dark red generally represents sorrow, while yellow can represent loyalty or friendship.

tulips
Tulips

Tulips have many meanings based on their colors. Yellow symbolizes cheerful thoughts or hope, and pink expresses confidence or happiness. Purple can be used to mean admiration for a loved one's accomplishments, while white signifies peace or forgiveness, and are best suited for funerals.