In times of bereavement, funeral arrangements not only honor the deceased but remind the grieving to celebrate life. They are also symbolic: The color, shape and types of flowers used can all convey a personal and meaningful message about the deceased.
Of all types of arrangements, funeral wreaths offer the deepest history and symbolism. Funeral wreaths have been used as expressions of grief and condolence since ancient Roman times. Their shape symbolizes the eternal circle of life, with which we are brought face-to-face when a loved one dies.
Funeral wreaths are often personalized with a ribbon or sash bearing either the name of the deceased or a heartfelt message. For example, following the death of Elizabeth Taylor, a personalized wreath was placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in her remembrance. After the death of Michael Jackson, fans banded together to contribute a funeral wreath with their names on it to honor the celebrity’s fame.
Following are a few examples of how funeral wreaths can be used to symbolize the life of the deceased:
This feminine arrangement features exotic stargazer lilies to serve as a reminder of how unique and special the deceased was. Lilies were revered by the ancient Greeks and symbolize the soul’s return to innocence following death.
The red carnations, white lilies and blue delphinium in this arrangement represent patriotism and are ideal for a loved one who has served his or her country. Dark red carnations also symbolize deep love and affection, while the blue flowers convey a sense of tranquility and peace.
The tastefully colorful mix of flowers in this wreath includes gladioli florets, purple lisianthus, pink alstroemeria and cornflowers. Lisianthus commonly symbolizes an outgoing nature, while alstroemeria indicates friendship and devotion.