The family that makes up Keepsake has felt the gravity of our current reality. We have lost loved ones without being able to say goodbye. It is hard to think about planning anything right now especially a funeral. Good to know we are not alone.
While planning funerals for our loved ones we began contemplating what different flowers mean in a religious context. We have compiled a list of some beautiful blooms that are associated with major religious groups to help you plan ceremonies of remembrance.
Roses – These iconic blooms have various meanings for Christians. They are sometimes used to represent the Virgin Mary and heavenly joy. Red roses are associated with the passion and blood of Christ. White roses are for purity.
Lilies – Commonly seen around Easter, the lily symbolizes Christ’s miraculous conception and His resurrection. Christian lore has it that the first Easter Lilies bloomed from the Garden of Gethsemane in the place where Christ’s bloodshed while in prayer. The trumpet shape is associated with a call to rebirth and new life from Gabriel’s trumpet.
Poinsettias – This holiday favorite is loaded with Christian symbolism. Its star-like shape represents the Star of Bethlehem, while the rich red color stands for the blood of Christ.
Olive Tree – Although technically not a flower the lush branches of the olive tree create beautiful foliage in arrangements. In Christianity, the Olive tree has many meanings. It is said that Christ was crucified on a cross made of olive wood. In the book of Genesis, an olive branch is delivered by a dove to Noah as a sign of peace after a catastrophe. Olive oil is also used in anointments and baptisms.
Olive tree – Judaism has some of the same associations as Christianity to the Olive Tree. It is a symbol of peace, prosperity, beauty, and God’s love for his people. Olive oil is ancient Israel was a staple in cooking and for anointing kings.
Lotus – The lotus is used in Hinduism as a sacred offering to various deities. It represents beauty, fertility, purity, prosperity, eternity, and divinity. The crown chakra is represented by the “thousand petal lotus.” Hindus recite a prayer called puja, which translates to “the flower act.”
Roses – roses are used in holy ceremonies such as weddings and funerals for their pleasant scent. Rosewater is often sprinkled on new graves before they are buried.
Orange blossom – Orange trees are common in Islamic meditation gardens for their sweet smell, sun protection, and delicious fruit.
Olive trees – This iconic tree is associated with prosperity and anointment. It’s green branches create beautiful foliage in any arrangement.
Lotus – This flower has many associations with the Buddhist religion. It is a metaphor for the path to enlightenment. As humans are born into suffering, a lotus begins in the muck below the water’s surface. As a person grows, they bask in the light of enlightenment in the same way the lotus grows to bask in the sun.
Flowers have all sorts of meanings in different cultures. Some are holy symbols while others are metaphors for existence. Whether they are used to represent peace, kings, or eternity these flowers have a special space in various ceremonies. Whoever you are or whatever religion you believe in one cannot deny the important role flowers play in making difficult times a little brighter. As if they were a gift from God, Allah, Buddha, Shiva, or Yahweh meant exactly for such times.