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Sympathy Flower Etiquette



Sympathy flowers and sympathy plants are traditionally sent to the funeral home, church or mortuary once the news of the loss has been announced. Most funeral homes, churches and mortuaries have a “wake,” “visitation” or “viewing” where friends, family and associates come to pay their respects to the family. Proper sympathy flower etiquette is to send flowers or plants to the funeral home, church or mortuary prior to the first visitation hours.

If you are late in sending flowers and can not have flowers arrive in time for the first visitation it is still appropriate to send flowers as long as they arrive prior to any additional visitations. If you have not sent flowers in time for them to arrive prior to the last visitation you may want to consider sending flowers or a plant to the family of the deceased at their residence. Some people insist upon sending last minute flower orders to the funeral home, church or mortuary and some people insist upon having last minute flower deliveries made directly to the graveside service.

This is not considered proper etiquette as it is very disruptive and inconsiderate to have flower deliveries arriving during the service. In many instances, last minute flower orders are lost in the commotion of moving the flowers from the funeral home, church or mortuary to the graveside service and in other instances funeral directors will not accept last minute flower deliveries in attempt to avoid the negative events mentioned above.

If you have missed the visitations and the funeral service it is considered very proper etiquette to send flowers or a plant to the family of the deceased at their residence. In fact, it is considered appropriate etiquette to send flowers or plants to the family of the deceased up to a month after the funeral service. Some people even prefer to send flowers and plants at a later date because it is a great way to let the family of the deceased know that people are still thinking of them even after the funeral service has passed. Many people who have lost a loved one find this very comforting.

Here are some additional tips concerning sympathy flower etiquette:

Sympathy Sprays
Sympathy sprays are appropriate for delivery to the funeral home, mortuary or church. These beautiful arrangements are displayed on a standing easel and make a spectacular presentation.

Wreaths and Specialty Arrangements
Wreaths and specialty arrangements such as crosses, bibles etc., are appropriate for delivery to the funeral home, mortuary or church. Wreaths and specialty arrangements are displayed on a standing easel and give maximum presentation.

Flowers Board/ Stikwerk (In Indonesia)
Flowers Board are appropriate for delivery to the funeral home, mortuary or church. These beautiful flower arrangements are displayed in decorative baskets or containers and make a lovely presentation. These arrangements can also be sent to the residence, but are typically sent to the funeral home, mortuary or church.

Green and Blooming Plants
Green and blooming plants are appropriate for delivery to the funeral home, mortuary, church, residence or place of business. These beautiful plants are displayed in a pretty pot or in a decorative basket and are appropriate to send to any location.

Vase Arrangements
Vase arrangements are appropriate for delivery to the residence. They are also appropriate to send to a place of business of a friend or family member who has lost a loved one. Arranged in a beautiful vase or decorative basket, these arrangements are a tasteful way to offer your condolences.

Not sure how to compose your sympathy message? Here are a few tips:

  • As a general rule of thumb, keep sympathy and bereavement messages relatively short.

  • Some commonly used phrases in sympathy messages include:

    • Our thoughts and prayers are with you

    • “Name of deceased” will remain in our hearts forever

    • Our deepest sympathy

    • With deepest sympathy

    • With heartfelt condolences

    • “Name of deceased” will always be in our hearts and memories

    • Please accept my condolences

    • I am sorry for your loss

  • If the deceased is a person that you knew very well, it is proper etiquette to convey how much that person meant to you and how much you will miss them (ex. Aunt Jackie meant the world to me and I will miss her greatly).

  • If you did not know the deceased very well, keep the card short and simple (ex. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Jack Skinner and Family).

  • Acknowledging the loss of the person who has died is acceptable etiquette (ex. Please accept my condolences on your loss).

  • Use your last name when signing the message (ex. With Love, Carmen Johnson). Even if the person you are sending the card to is a family member who knows you very well, it is still a good idea to sign your last name because there may be other friends or family members with the same first name as yours.

  • Do not include phrases such as “Time will heal all wounds” or “It was his time to go.”

Sympathy Card Examples

Below you will find examples of sympathy card messages from Friends and Family and from Co-Workers and Business Associates.

Sympathy Messages Coming From Friends and Family

Suzanne, Bill and Family,
Our deepest sympathies during your time of loss.
Please know that we are here for you.
With Love, Joanne and Todd Knapp and Family

In loving memory of Aunt Bernice, she will be missed dearly.
Love, Jason and Lisa Nolan

Dear John and Sue and Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
We are sorry for your loss.
Love, Brenda, Bob, Ellen and Mike Trumbaugh

Please accept my condolences on the loss of your sister.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Julie Arnold

John will always be in our hearts and memories.
With Sympathy, The Harper Family

Sympathy Messages Coming From Co-Workers and Business Associates

With deepest sympathy for your loss.
The Staff at Vision EyeCare

With deepest sympathy, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
From all of your friends at Penny Road Elementary School.

Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
From all the staff at AT&T.

Please accept our condolences on the loss of your Mother.
From all your friends at Blinky’s – Sarah, Scott, Mark, Sarah and Meghan.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
From everyone at Samuelson Printing Company.

Source: http://www.sympathy-card-etiquette.com/
(See also: Sympathy Card Etiquette)










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