Understanding Sympathy Terminology

In the sympathy business, there are many temrs used to describe various components of funeral service, including the flowers. Overlapping terminology used by florists in different regions of the country in reference to funeral arrangement styles sometimes be confusing. The followeing section provides definition of sympathy designs, along with other funeral-related terminology.

Basket Arrangement - An arrangement in a container of wicker, plastic, or metal with or without a handle. The width of the container is equal to or greater than the height. It can be displayed on the floor or on a stand. In the South, plastic containers are often used. If a basket arrangement in a wicker container is preferred, it should be specified.

Blooming Plant - A flowering potted indoor plant such as an azalea, chrysanthemum, or spring bulb.

Casket Cover Designs

  • Blanket - A design of flowers with a draping base, such as burlap, on which flowers and/or foliage are fastened. The design may cover the entire top of the casket, and it may even flow to the floor.

  • Scarf - A design of flowers, often placed on fabric, that drapes over a small portion of the casket.

  • Spray - A spray designed to cover a major portion of the top of a casket. A full couch casket spray is deisnged to be placed on a casket that is fully closed.

    A full couch lid spray is designed to be placed on the rack immediately behind the open lid of a fully open casket. This spray appears as if it is sitting on the lid.

    A half couch casket spray is designed to be placed ont he lower portion of the lid of a half-open casket.
  • Casket Lid Inset - A cluster of flowers placed inside the casket, often a tribute from the grandchildren. It may be placed on a pillow, fan, etc.

    Couch - A classic, older term referring to the casket.

    Cross - A structure consisting of an upright or standard with a transverse beam called an arm. Serveral variations include the following: Latin or Christian cross, Celtic cross, Maltese cross, Cross of Lorraine or Tubercular Leage Cross, and Red Cross.

    Easel - A frame, usually three-legged, made of wood, metal, or branches that displays and supports sprays and set pieces

    Fireside Basket - A design set in handled, low-sided wicket basket.

    Grave Covering (Grave Blanket) - Seasonal greens, usually trimmed with flowers, cones, or bows, placed on a frame and used to cover a grave.

    Green Plant - A non-blooming indoor plant.

    Heart (Set Piece) - A set piece in the shape of a heart, usually featuring one flower variety and trimmed with a small flower spray. Other variants include the following.

    • Bleeding Heart - A white heart as a background for a spray of red roses. Often ribbons extend the effect; construction may vary.

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