Flowers have consistently been a way for us to communicate our most profound emotions, regardless of whether we feel sad or happy. When we hope to express compassion or sympathy for a loss, sending condolences with memorial flowers is a well-established method to convey peace to a departing loved one and his or her family and friends.
While the custom of using flowers at a funeral has been around for many years, did you realize that flowers once had a different use at memorial services than they have today?
The Oldest Proof of Burial Flowers
History suggests that people began utilizing flowers in graves when a 35,000-year-old Neanderthal site for burial called Shanidar Cave in Iraq contained pollen. However, when further investigated, it was discovered that almost certainly, rodents living in the caves brought the pollen there, not people.
The Symbolism of Flowers at a Funeral
Flowers have great spiritual significance and have consistently been utilized to represent the life cycle from birth through death. Flowers speak love and compassion, yet they also speak immortality and eternity. A human's life is defined by a flower's delicacy because different conditions are essential for their growth and bloom.
How did Cultures Use Art in Burial Rituals?
Funerary art is a social practice that goes back to older human eras. More than crafts, these are for remembrance and acknowledgment of the dead. Funerary art may fill in as an article the dead can use in the hereafter or a thing to praise their achievements. Sometimes, funerary art shows are essential for family relationship-focused practices.
Part of social conventions for ages, funerary art is found in practically all societies. Funerary art means decoration components added to the dead's resting spot. The art is intended to be evident to guests after memorial services.
Funerary craftsmanship played a vital role in history. There are remains of funerary art components dating back to pre-historic periods. Seeing how old human civilizations consolidated components to memorialize their deceased loved ones can help us understand how we represent the lives of our friends and family today.
Jewish Burial Rituals and Flowers
In numerous beliefs and societies, sending roses to the memorial service home or the home of those who lost a loved one is a nice thought. However, you should never send roses to a Jewish memorial service or the Shiva home while a family sits Shiva after the burial service.
In contrast to numerous societies, in which flowers are commonly viewed as gifts of regard and may decorate the expired coffin, flowers usually are not an aspect of the Jewish grieving convention. Sending roses to a funeral or burial service, or the home of relatives isn't generally acceptable in Jewish communities.
Some Jewish people believe the existing flower pattern should not be hindered to make decorative arrangements for a memorial service. Generally, Jewish memorial services are held one day following the date of death.
The initial seven days following the burial service is a timeframe known as Shiva. The mourners remain at home and visitors assist them with their grief. Judaism considers a profound grieving period during which festivity of life, beautification of yourself, and your environment are viewed as interruptions from the strict recovery period.
Ancient Egypt's Burial Rituals and Flowers
At the hour of death, the Ancient Egyptians had the training and custom of transforming the perished individual's body into a mummy. It took 70 days to preserve a body and a hundred yards of cloth to wrap the dead individual's remaining parts. It was their method of safeguarding the body to give the soul everlasting peace in the afterlife.
At the time of demise, it was believed that the ka (life) and ba (soul) left the dead body. The ba would visit the loved ones of the perished while the ka left from the hidden world's remaining parts. There is not much history of flowers; however, the body was closed with aromatic plants and spices.
Vikings Burial and Norsemen Funeral Rituals
During the Viking age, a group of people known as the Norsemen lived in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland). The Norsemen, which means men of the north, had their religion with explicit rituals and ceremonies when dealing with their dead.
There was a dread related to death as families stressed the expired would attempt to return, so they removed the deceased's head or passed a stake through them. If the family observed a revenant (phantom) or draugr (undead animal), they believed more family deaths were about to happen.
With this many precautions to scare away the dead or not let it come back, there was no chance of flowers near the dead because they wanted to avoid a message of compassion or welcoming to revenants.
If the expired was an incredible warrior or one of privilege, they were usually buried in their longship. It is a kind of boat made by the Norsemen for wars and trade, either set ablaze and conveyed to the ocean or buried. The vast majority of the perished were buried in plots shaped by their longship.
The perished were covered with items that they may require in existence in the wake of death, e.g., weapons and even animals. Women were covered with their gems, jewels, and household items. Sometimes a slave was relinquished at the burial to serve the dead till eternity. These burials did not have any traditions that involved flowers.
Native American Burial Rituals and Flowers
For Native Americans, the dead's body is viewed as sacred, so burial customs are explicit and all-inclusive across families. Practices are diverse. Incineration is often used. The believed that burning the expired aides them to enter the afterlife. The smoke sends the body upwards quickly.
Native Americans also had tree burials. The Ute, Navajo, and Sioux tribes used platforms like a tree to carry the perished nearer to the sky. Animals then consume the body completing the life cycle.
Items in-use of the deceased are put close to the coffin as basic conventional practices. Things like toys were left with children and weapons or garments with adults. In modern times, burial service flowers are welcomed, particularly in tribes that link Christianity with conventional practices.
Burial Rituals of Knights of Templar and Flowers
A Knight of Templar cannot be buried under Knighthood's burial service praises, unless he was in regular standing. It is the obligation of the Eminent Commander for convening the commandery. The Knights will go in full uniform, by the guidelines, carrying their swords and the Banner of the Commandery, appropriately dressed for grieving.
The hat and the sword of the deceased will be placed on his casket. If he is an Officer, his jewel is trimmed with crape. The Knights will gather at their Asylum and walk to the deceased's residence in the specific request of processions. There is no sign of flowers or compassion during the burial act.
Medieval Burial Rituals and Flowers
Early Medieval burial customs were firmly connected to the pagan, Northern European, and Celtic foundations of the Anglo Saxons. The rich and powerful had boat burials reserved for them. Cremation was not an uncommon act. However, the most followed burial act was basic burial as it required less time and equipment than incineration.
At areas like Sutton Hoo, proof of very lavish burials was revealed and gives a portion of Early Medieval culture's best proof. The most notable burial at Sutton Hoo is a boat that most researchers concur will probably be the seventh Century leader of the East Angles, Rædwald.
Rædwald was buried with the goods of the grave of very high caliber and rarity, which would be noticeable from everywhere. Rædwald and his grave goods were buried in a fine quality boat, showing how the Northern Europeans would lead burials for significant people at sea.
Use of Flowers at Present-day Rituals
Today, roses are sent to memorial services for various reasons. They are a method for expression of grief. Since it can be challenging for those grieving a loved one’s passing to articulate their emotions, flowers can symbolize peace, love, regard, and compassion.
Flowers also make a foundation of warmth and glory, adding to the burial service's poise and relief. They add a delicate quality, where their existence helps balance the loss and misery of death, allowing us to acknowledge a friend or family member's departure.
If you would like more information about sympathy and funeral flowers, feel free to contact our skilled and sympathetic florists at Worcester Flower Shop serving areas around Worcester, MA.