Significance of Why are Peace Lilies Given at Funerals


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Yesterday, I was returning home with my family members from my uncle’s funeral program. My daughter Alina was asking me, Dad, why are peace lilies given at funerals?

She is only 7 years old but very eager to learn anything new she sees. But I also didn’t know the actual reason. Then my father replied,

Why are Peace Lilies Given at Funerals

After hearing this, I was also eager to know more about peace lilies at funerals. I wanted to know how it becomes a tradition. Is there any religious or cultural reason? Keep reading to know what my daughter and I learned from my father.

Core Facts:

  • Lilies: Symbolize the soul of the departed and hope for resurrection. White lilies represent purity, innocence, and peace.
  • Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used peace lilies to express mourning and sympathy.
  • Peace lilies serve as a lasting and meaningful way to honor the memory of a loved one and offer comfort and support to the grieving.

Flowers For Funerals Meaning

In the situation of sorrow, where words often falter, flowers can emerge as messengers of solace and remembrance. Flowers are a symbolic way to express condolences and convey emotions in funerals. 

Each type of flower has its unique meaning. Which can contribute to the overall sentiment of support and sympathy during times of grief. 

Flowers For Funerals Meaning

Which flowers you will choose for funerals depends on the cultural traditions, personal preferences, and the symbolic significance attached to each bloom.

Some particular flowers are specially used as funeral flowers, such as: 

  • Lilies
  • Carnations
  • Roses
  • Orchid
  • Chrysanthemums

All of these are traditional funeral flowers. Also, they have different meanings and symbols, depending on their color, origin, and culture.


Peace lilies can be toxic but lilies are the most traditional funeral flowers. These flowers are commonly associated with death, funeral homes, and memorial services. But why are lilies used at funerals? They can symbolize the soul of the departed and the hope of resurrection. 

White lilies are especially associated with purity, innocence, and peace. Lilies also have a strong fragrance. It can evoke memories and emotions. 


Carnations are also a popular choice for funerals, especially white carnations. They are long-lasting and fragrant flowers. You can use this flower in various arrangements and bouquets. 

They come in different colors, and each color has a different meaning, such as

  • Pink: Pink carnations symbolize remembrance
  • Red: Admiration, love, and yearning
  • White: Faithfulness, innocence, purity, sweetness, and untainted love. 


When we think about flowers, most probably we mean roses. You often find roses in funeral arrangements as sympathy flowers. 

Roses are typically associated with romantic love, but they can convey a wide variety of symbolic meanings depending on their color:

Pink roses symbolize admiration, appreciation, elegance, or grace and are often used at the funerals of women and children. While the red rose is used for courage, love, and respect, white roses signify purity and innocence. Additionally, yellow roses mean devotion, friendship, and loyalty. 

These features make them more suitable for expressing sympathy and condolences. White roses are often used at funeral services. 


These are not only appreciated for their elegant, cut-flower, but they can also last a long time in floral arrangements and bouquets. Orchids can be sent as a sympathy gift to the family of the deceased or displayed at the funeral service. Families often select these funeral flowers to take home after the service.   

Orchids are exotic and graceful flowers. They symbolize eternal love, hope, peace, and beauty. The most common colors for funeral orchids are white, purple, and pink orchids.


They are also known as “mums”. They are used in funeral flower arrangements around the world, but their symbolic meaning can vary widely according to each culture. 

In Asia and Europe, they symbolize grief, mourning, and death. In China, Japan, and Korea, white mums are reserved for funerals and graves, while in some European countries, mums are only sent as a funeral gift. In the United States, however, mums can have various meanings, such as love, truth, and cheerfulness.

Why Are Peace Lilies Given At Funerals?

Peace lilies are a common type of flower that is given at funerals. It’s also a good sympathy gift for difficult times. They have a white and green color that is soothing, and also they are easy to care for.

Peace lilies symbolize purity, rebirth, tranquillity, and innocence. They are a way to show your support and compassion for someone who is grieving. Peace lilies are also known for their air purification qualities, which can help improve the mood and well-being of the bereaved.

Why Are Peace Lilies Given At Funerals

Today, peace lilies are still a common choice for funeral flowers. Because they can convey a range of messages and sentiments. They can express love, admiration, gratitude, and friendship, depending on the color and number of the flowers.

You also can send them as a sympathy gift to the family of the deceased or display them at the funeral service or the home. Peace lilies are a lasting and meaningful way to honor the memory of a loved one and to offer comfort and support to the grieving.

How Did The Tradition Of Giving Peace Lilies At Funerals Originate?

There are some reasons why are peace lilies for funerals, and how they originated from different cultures and religious traditions. 

The tradition of giving peace lilies at funerals originated from the ancient beliefs and practices of different cultures and religions. Peace lilies are naturally grown in the tropical rainforests of Venezuela and Colombia, and they have white and green colors that are soothing.

At first, peace lilies were used by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks as a way to express mourning and sympathy for the deceased. It was thought that the white flower of the peace lily represents the soul’s purity and innocence. They kept peace lilies near the dead body or the tomb as a sign of respect and honor. 

Peace lilies are also associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ in Christian culture. Peace lilies go dormant during the winter and come back home in the spring. They symbolize hope, rebirth, and eternal life for the departed and the living. 

In some Asian and European countries, peace lilies are also a common funeral flower. They signify grief, mourning, and death. They are reserved for funerals and graves, and they are not used for other occasions. 

How Did The Tradition Of Giving Peace Lilies At Funerals Originate

Peace lilies are a way to acknowledge the loss and the sorrow of the bereaved. Additionally, the name “peace lily” itself implies a wish for peace. It makes peace lily a fitting choice for funerals. 

Then I asked my father, are peace lilies only for funerals? 

-No, they are also very popular indoor plants. Which can play a crucial role in purifying indoor air and also give a touch of elegance. 

Types Of Peace Lilies That Are Suitable For Funerals

You may already have noticed all types of peace lilies are not given at funerals. Though people use certain common varieties of peace lily, there is no specific type of peace lily plant designated for funerals. Some of the most popular ones are:

Types Of Peace Lilies That Are Suitable For Funerals
  • Spathiphyllum wallisii: This is the most common and widely available peace lily. It has dark green, lance-shaped leaves and white, hood-like flowers. Most often, people use this flower in funeral settings. 
  • Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’: This variety is a larger and more robust version of peace lily. It produces larger flowers that have a more substantial presence. You can also use this large peace lily for funerals.
  • Spathiphyllum ‘Sensation’: Many people consider giving this one. They are known for their impressive size and broad, glossy leaves. It produces larger white flowers, and they can grow up to 4-6 feet tall. 
  • Spathiphyllum ‘Domino’: It’s also a popular choice for funeral arrangements. This cultivar has variegated leaves with white streaks, adding a touch of uniqueness to the traditional peace lily appearance. 

Peace lilies are valued not only for their beauty but also for their symbolism of peace and tranquility. These above types of peace lilies are most suitable for funerals. But you can choose other varieties too. The most important thing is to express your sympathy and support with sincerity and respect.

Cultural Or Religious Reasons Behind The Choice Of Peace Lilies For Funerals

There are different cultural and religious reasons behind the choice of peace lilies for funerals. It depends on the origin and beliefs of the people. Now, I will describe some cultural and religious aspects that can contribute to the preference for peace lilies in funeral settings:

  • Universal Symbol of Peace: One of the common reasons that peace lilies are associated with peace, tranquility, and harmony. The white blooms of the peace lily universally symbolize purity and a sense of calm. 
  • Christian Symbolism: Peace lilies are a popular choice for Christian funerals. Their white flowers symbolize purity, innocence, and resurrection in Christian tradition. 
  • Asian Cultural Influence: In many Asian cultures, like Japanese and Chinese traditions, peace lilies are associated with sympathy and condolence. Their pure white flowers are considered symbols of purity, renewal, and the journey of the soul.
  • Non-religious Symbolism: Peace lilies are not only used for religious purposes but also in non-religious or secular contexts. Peace lilies are appreciated for their aesthetic beauty and the sense of calm they bring. 
  • Versatility and Adaptability: Peace lilies are versatile and adaptable to different environments. It makes them suitable for various funeral arrangements, including bouquets, wreaths, and potted plants. 

Peace lilies have a great ability to thrive in low light conditions, and their longevity also contributes to their popularity in funeral settings. These are some of the cultural and religious reasons behind the choice of peace lilies for funerals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Are There Alternatives To Peace Lilies That Are Commonly Used For Expressing Condolences?

Yes, some other types of plants and flowers can be used as alternatives to peace lilies for expressing condolence. You can use roses, orchid, carnation, chrysanthemums, or daffodils and tulips.

Is A Peace Lily A Good Sympathy Gift?

Yes, a peace lily is a good sympathy gift for several reasons. A peace lily is a beautiful and easy-to-care plant that has white flowers and dark green leaves. It symbolizes peace, purity, innocence, and hope.

What Color Flowers For Funeral

White color flower is more suitable for a funeral. The white color of spathes symbolizes innocence, purity, and peace for a funeral settings. 

What Does The Peace Lily Symbolise?

Peace lilies symbolise peace, purity, innocence, and hope. It is often given to the family of a deceased person as an expression of sympathy and support. It is also associated with healing and purification.


Now I think my daughter asked the right question: why are peace lilies given at funerals? Sometimes you do some works in a trend of flow of culture but don’t know the significance and the meaning of the works. 

I also learned with my daughters about the origin and peace lily meaning funeral arrangements. Peace lilies have different associations with different cultures and religions, such as purity, resurrection, grief, and hope.

You also can use flowers when you lose your words but still want to give someone hope, love and purity. Peace lilies are most suitable for funerals. Because they are long-lasting the white spathes represent purity and innocence, as well as peace and tranquility.

Raina Trick

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Raina Trick

Meet Rayna Trick: Your Indoor Plant Whisperer! With her roots in environmental science and a passion for exotic succulents, she’s the Green Thumb of the Year. Rayna’s here to be your plant companion, sharing her expertise and nurturing your green oasis at PlantTrick. Let’s make your indoor space bloom, one leaf at a time, together!

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