Do You Send Flowers to a Buddhist Funeral?
One of the hallmarks common to the Buddhist funeral is peace and serenity. To have this kind of environment when a family dies, the family sets up an altar with the portrait or picture of the deceased person together with incense, candles, fruits, and flowers. They also have the image or sculpture of Buddha placed on the altar. For the Buddhist tradition and culture, the funeral service is mostly simple and dignified, only that, the casket remains open so that everyone, including guests, can view the person.
On the day of the funeral, the family practices their rituals together with their group of guests. If there are non-Buddhist guests during the funeral, they are required to sit still and just observe the said rituals or tradition. Everyone, on the other hand, offer chanting sacred words as part of the rituals as they bow and give honor to the deceased person.
Part of this ritual is the sending of flowers. It is acceptable for the Buddhist to send flowers through the mourning period. The family may never accept or require gifts of foods, vegetables, and fruits or some food offerings for the funeral. They may request cash donations instead, for the family or for the charity they support. The company where the deceased person worked with is expected to bring flowers for the funerals and this should be displayed near the casket.
Appropriate flowers in Buddhist funeral
Flowers in white color or shade are the most appropriate one to send to a Buddhist funeral. Based on the sender’s connection and relation to the deceased person, it is essential for mourners to have a part in the funeral by sending flowers. The florists create funeral wreaths, funeral baskets, casket sprays, funeral flower stand, and tributes. They prefer white flowers because of their symbolism and representation of grief and sadness. On the other hand, yellow flowers are also appropriate for this time of grief and mourning. Among the common types of flowers to choose are Chrysanthemums, Orchids, Carnations, Lilies, ad Lotus. Lotus flower, however, is revered as the most traditional flower for the Buddhism funeral because it is the highest level of spirituality for them. The flowers should be presented to the family and placed on the altar.
Red flowers are not the appropriate flowers during this time of grief. These should be avoided when sending flowers to the funerals. For the Buddhists, red flowers are meant for joyous occasions and events. Aside from white flowers, you can also send a sympathy card, donations, and condolence gifts to the family only after the mourning or grieving process.
Floral arrangements to send
Flower arrangements designed for the funerals in the Buddhist religion come in different forms and sizes. The florists have hundreds of designs to offer, and all these are acceptable in the Buddhist custom.
s – White flowers and green leaves are the most common colors required for the floral arrangements for Buddhist funeral. The casket sprays may have flowers of white Lotus, Lilies, Chrysanthemums, and Carnations adorned with green foliage and leaves. Casket sprays are usually brought or sent by close family members and relatives.
Funeral Wreaths – Countries following the Buddhist religion practice and observe simple but traditional rituals on funerals. This includes having funeral condolence wreaths in round or circular shape. The flowers used for the wreaths are mostly white flowers, however, the family may ask for other colors based on their preference.
Tributes – Pale colored flowers and white colored flowers are common for funeral flowers intended for tributes to the deceased person. The flowers are also preferred to be heavily scented to ward off the odor or smell of the decaying body.
In lieu of flowers
Other families prefer donations to charity in lieu of flowers. When a person dies, it is common for the family to have flowers in the altar. However, for friends and distant relatives who want to send gifts, the family may ask for donations instead, especially if they are supporting a charitable institution.
Significant Buddhist funeral rituals
In Buddhist rituals, the family members are the only ones to wear white clothes. Guests, mourners, and friends should wear black. This will help everyone to identify the family because of their white clothes. This practice is significant to their beliefs because they believe that wearing white in the funeral will earn the family and the deceased person the merit.
Things not to do in a Buddhist funeral
There are things that mourners should not do when attending this kind of funeral. Pregnant women are not allowed to attend the funeral because they believe that the soul of the deceased person may enter the baby in the womb. Moreover, women in menstruation period may be allowed to attend provided that they are not allowed to light any incense.
Another important thing to note is that, when attending a Buddhist funeral, guests are not allowed to smile or to make any noise. Non-Buddhist guests are expected to sit quietly and just observe as the monks and the family, including the mourners, practices their rituals.
Buddhist funeral can be different. They have time for the funeral, time for burial, and time for mourning. When the mourning period ends, they also practice another set of significant rituals. Sending flowers to a Buddhist funeral may also be different depending on the family, which is why it is appropriate to ask them first before you send funeral flower arrangements.