Funeral Flower Etiquette
Funeral flowers and religion
The funeral flowers you choose, and the way in which you present them, may be dependent on the religion of the decedent and their family. Many funerals have a religious affiliation, whether or not the deceased was actually a person of faith. You may find yourself attending a funeral for someone whose religious affiliation you don't understand, but it's important to respect that religion and its traditions. The use of funeral flowers is often dependent on religious preference. There are some rules of etiquette to follow when sending funeral flowers, particularly in incidences where religion is a factor:
Baha'i funerals and burials usually take place within 50 miles of the place of death. Funeral flowers are appropriate at a Baha'i funeral.
Buddhist funerals will almost always take place in a funeral home and never in a temple. Sending flowers is considered appropriate for a Buddhist funeral.
Eastern Orthodox practitioners are strict about three days between death and burial. During this time, flowers may be sent to the funeral home. White funeral flowers are seen as especially meaningful.
Hindus hold a funeral service on the day of death, before the sun goes down if possible. Sending flowers isn't part of the Hindu tradition, but it may still be seen as a thoughtful gesture. You can safely send a nice funeral spray to commemorate the dead.
Jewish tradition doesn't include the sending of flowers at death. It's more appropriate to send gift baskets or fruit during the period of mourning. However, younger Jews may be more open to receiving flowers at home or at the foyer of the synagogue. The practice of sending flowers is better understood by 'liberal' Jews, while Orthodox Jews may not be appreciative.
Mormons (or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) appreciate flowers and funeral sprays at the time of mourning. Don't send them in the shape of a cross as this may offend, and note that Mormon funerals are not held in the temple.
Muslim or Islamic cultures may have differing opinions concerning funeral flowers, depending on their ethnic origin and perhaps even on what particular branch of Islam they are from. Ask the opinion of someone close to the family, if you can.
Protestants and Other Christian faiths accept all forms of funeral flowers. Certain branches or denominations farther out of the mainstream (especially in some Reformed traditions) may have particular ideas concerning simplicity and adornment, however.
Roman Catholics welcome flowers and funeral flower arrangements. There may be some particulars concerning delivery of funeral flowers to a church or cathedral.