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What is a Funeral Sheaf?

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20Jul 2021

What is a Funeral Sheaf?

Choosing Funeral Sheaf

A funeral sheaf is a tied bouquet of flowers. These are traditionally placed on top of the coffin or by the gravesite following a burial. Funeral sheaves can include a wide range of flowers, intended to express your love and connection for the deceased. Flowers may include posies, lilies, roses, hyacinths or chrysanthemums. Qualified florists will have a great deal of experience in designing funeral sheaves. So if you have any questions about this particular style of funeral flower, it is often best to speak with an expert. They can help you understand the purpose of a funeral sheaf when it is the most appropriate design, which flowers to include in your arrangement, and also the logistics involved in getting funeral flowers delivered.
In some instances, a florist may advise you that a funeral sheaf isn’t the most appropriate design, or you may decide yourself that it is not the right option for you. While beautiful, funeral sheaves are only one possible option for funeral flowers, and after doing some research, you may decide that something else feels more appropriate. Some alternatives to a funeral sheaf include:
Letter tributes - these are most common when you are very close to the deceased. These are single letters (perhaps the first letter of their name) or whole words (often their relationship to you e.g. mum/sister/grandad etc.) spelled out in flowers. They are highly effective and very beautiful displays, but traditionally these are arrangements chosen by the very close family to the deceased, so it may not be the most appropriate funeral flower display if you are more distantly connected.
Funeral wreaths - these are similar in style to the letter tributes, but tend to be in alternative shapes such as circles, hearts etc. However, there are many options available for funeral wreaths these days, and they are a very effective way of expressing your love, respect and admiration for someone who has passed away. When selecting a funeral wreath, things to consider include the size, the wreath design, and which flowers to include. Carnations are a common choice and look very effective, but other flowers are available. Also consider the colour of the flower you choose as this influences the meaning - red for love, white for innocence, blue for respect, yellow for friendship. In all funeral flowers, it is recommended you choose the colour which best symbolises your connection to the deceased.
Posies - a basket of posies will normally be placed on top of the coffin during the service. They are traditional funeral flowers and have long symbolised rebirth and the afterlife. As with letter tributes, it is normally the family members who will organise posies for the coffin. However, posies can be used as part of a funeral bouquet.
Casket sprays - as with posies these are traditionally placed on top of the coffin during the service. Typically you would choose between posies and casket sprays as they tend to symbolise the same thing, but in some cases, a funeral may include both or none. Casket sprays are very intricately arranged flowers and are similar to funeral wreaths in their look but tend to be much more extravagant.
Funeral bouquet - a bouquet of flowers is the most traditional choice if you are not directly related to the deceased. Your chosen bouquet may include a wide range of flowers, either traditional funeral blooms, or flowers that are related to the person who has died. Working with a florist is one of the best ways to ensure you can identify the most appropriate design for your specific needs.