The death of a loved one is always a time of grief and sadness. No matter what religion, ethnicity, or belief the family belongs to, there are types of flowers to meet what is required and appropriate for them. For Buddhist funerals, most of the flowers are acceptable. They observe and practice sending funeral flowers arranged and crafted according to their traditions and culture. It is one of their beliefs that the soul reincarnates after death, which is why they prefer a simple and quiet funeral. Since they hold their funerals and wake at their family residence, giving considerations to the size of the house will help you choose which arrangement is best to send. Here are the important things to consider when sending Buddhist funeral flowers:
Traditionally, the bereaved family prefers white flowers because they signify mourning. They give time and importance to mourning. If you are sending flowers to express condolences, you can go for the common standing sprays, funeral wreaths, or simple floral arrangements made using white or yellow Lilies, or Chrysanthemums. Lotus flowers are also appropriate as Buddhist funeral flowers. On the other hand, they do not prefer red flowers because red symbolizes happiness and wealth to them. They also do not want flowers sent to the funeral homes.
Funeral flowers are appropriate in Buddhist funerals. The main purpose is to spread peace and serenity amidst the sorrowful event. They hold their funerals at home and never in the temple. Buddhist funeral flowers are meant to signify mourning. Mourners are expected to bring flowers and fruits as their offering to Buddha for the serenity of the deceased person’s soul. They use flowers as a display also, for the altar beside the candles, incense, and portrait of the deceased person.
As funeral flowers are used to pay tribute and respect to the dead person, funeral florists arrange the flowers in the usual casket sprays, standing sprays, and floral arrangements intended for the funerals. Although most types of flowers are acceptable, it is very important that friends and relatives avoid red flowers. On the other hand, to be safe when it comes to giving or sending Buddhist funeral flowers to convey condolences, it is best to let the florists know the religion and beliefs of the family.
The most common funeral flower arrangements in a Buddhist funeral include the following:
Casket sprays – In Buddhist funeral, the casket is always open until the cremation. Cremation is one of their traditions that is still followed and practiced until now. In consideration of this tradition, the casket sprays are arranged for opened caskets.
Standing sprays – Standing sprays are also common in a Buddhist funeral. They are arranged with white and yellow flowers. The sprays are on easel and placed inside the home, near the casket, to make the place solemn and peaceful. Standing sprays are usually sent by relatives, friends, and co-workers.
Funeral Wreaths – Based on tradition and culture, round funeral wreaths are common and typical in Buddhist funerals. The flowers used are white and yellow to signify mourning. Friends send funeral wreaths to express their condolences and to share the grief with the family.
Special Floral Arrangements – Special funeral flower arrangements are also created for the funeral service and memorial service. A funeral service is usually held before the burial. The monk or one of the family members is the one to do the chant or ritual according to their traditions. The altar should have the image of Buddha, the deceased person’s portrait, incense, candles, fruits, and flowers.
A memorial service is also held after the burial. The family mourns for their loved one for 90 days. Mourners are expected to approach the altar to bow with their hands pressed together as they say their prayers silently. Special flower arrangement for the altar is necessary for this ritual.
Types of Flowers
In Buddhist funerals, the most common types of flowers acceptable for the rituals include the white Lilies, white Lotus, white Chrysanthemums, yellow flowers, and flowers in cream and pale colors. They avoid red flowers because, according to their traditions, red flowers are for happy moments.
In Buddhist funerals, “Dana” is a common practice. This is the giving of alms as an act of virtue credited to the deceased person. Giving of alms earns merits for them, and doing this in behalf of the departed soul yields good karma such as the assurance of better rebirth or reincarnation of the deceased person.
Cash donations in lieu of flowers are acceptable. The proceeds are given to charity in credit of the deceased person. Any amount is allowed as long as it is from the heart because, according to their traditions, the motive of the giver makes the successful transfer of merit to the deceased person.
In relation with giving donations to charities, some families practicing the Buddhist religion conduct a special service where all friends, relatives, and families are invited to offer gifts and donations for the charity in behalf of the deceased person.
Funeral rituals are carefully observed and practiced by the Buddhist families because they strongly believe that the soul of the person will reincarnate after death. Death is a transition of life from the present to another until the soul reaches Nirvana. Because of this, they make funeral services simple but dignified, knowing that the soul will live again, thus Buddhist funeral flowers appear simple.