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What does red and white roses mean at death?

What does red and white roses mean at death?

Red and white roses carry special meaning when used at funerals and memorial services. The colors symbolize different concepts related to love, innocence, purity, and remembrance. When selecting funeral flowers, the meanings behind different rose colors can provide comforting messages about lost loved ones.

Meanings of Red Roses

Red roses are one of the most iconic and universally recognized funeral flowers. They symbolize:

– Love and passion – Red roses represent deep emotions and desire. At funerals, they demonstrate the profound love between the deceased and their loved ones.

– Courage and respect – The bold red color signifies strength and admiration for the deceased. It takes courage to overcome grief.

– Vitality and vibrancy – In life, red roses reflect energy and vitality. Placed on a casket, they remind mourners of the vibrant spirit of the departed.

So in summary, red roses honor the passionate love and respect for the deceased while celebrating their spirited life.

Meanings of White Roses

White roses evoke themes of:

– Purity and innocence – Their bright white color signifies youth, innocence, and unspoiled spirit. White roses on a casket convey the pure soul of a child or young adult.

– Remembrance and reverence – Like white lilies, white roses symbolize honor and reverence for the dead. Their color sends a message of remembrance.

– Eternal loyalty – White represents unwavering faithfulness. White roses express loyalty and devotion that endures beyond death.

– New beginnings – The white color signifies light, hope, and renewal, as in spring. Placing white roses on a grave reminds mourners that death marks a transition, not an ending.

So white roses at funerals speak to the cherished purity and perpetual remembrance of the deceased.

Meanings of Red and White Roses Together

When paired together, red and white roses beautifully blend symbols of passionate love and innocence. Mixed arrangements communicate:

– Unity and commitment – The red and white color combination resembles a wedding bouquet. It reflects the eternal bond and partnership shared with the deceased.

– Fond memories – Red recalls the vivid, vibrant memories, while white represents holding these memories dear forever.

– Farewell and reunion – Red roses say a passionate goodbye, while white roses express hope of meeting again in the afterlife.

– Celebration of life – Red reminds us to cherish life’s joys, while white represents the pure soul that lives on.

– Appreciation and admiration – Red conveys deep love, while white shows reverence and respect for the deceased.

So combined, red and white roses form a lovely, symbolic funeral arrangement celebrating life, love, memories, and hope.

History and Meaning of Roses at Funerals

The custom of placing roses on caskets has origins in:

Ancient Egyptian tradition – Egyptians often placed roses in tombs and funeral wreaths, believing the flowers’ scent helped guide the soul into the afterlife.

Roman myth – Romans associated red roses with Aphrodite, goddess of love, symbolizing eternal affection. White roses were dedicated to Venus, goddess of purity.

Christian symbolism – In medieval times, red roses represented martyrs shedding blood for faith, while white roses stood for innocence and purification.

Victorian floriography – In the Victorian era, flowers carried coded meanings. Red roses conveyed enduring passion, while white symbolized young love and eternity.

So the funeral tradition of red and white roses dates back centuries and stems from ancient myths, religious symbolism, and coded floral messages. Today these classic, complementary colors continue to express love, remembrance, and spiritual hope.

Popular Arrangements with Red and White Roses

Some typical funeral arrangements featuring red and white roses include:

Casket arrangements – Sprays or wreaths of red and white roses laid atop caskets or displayed nearby. These classic tributes mark respect and love.

Urn arrangements – Smaller versions suitable for placement near urns or cremation niches. Combines devotion and hope.

Standing sprays – Large standing displays of red and white roses at funerals or memorial services. Dramatic symbols of celebration of life.

Heart-shaped wreaths – Wreaths of red and white roses shaping a heart, representing eternal love. Often has a banner with text like “Rest in Peace.”

Cross arrangements – Red and white roses fashioned into funeral crosses, uniting faith-based symbols with rose meanings.

Blanket covers – Covers draping caskets with red and white roses. Creates a symbolic loving embrace of the deceased.

Tips for Selecting and Sending Funeral Roses

When choosing red and white rose funeral arrangements, consider:

Combination – Mix red and white roses in one arrangement for blended meaning, or use each color separately in different pieces.

Flower types – Standard long-stemmed roses, spray roses, rose buds – all have beautiful symbolic value.

Added flowers – Accents of babys breath, greenery, lilies complement red and white roses.

Personalization – Add custom ribbons, frames, banners with messages celebrating the deceased’s life and legacy.

Delivery – Have arrangements delivered at least one day before the service. Confirm delivery date/time and location access.

With their profound symbolic meaning, funeral arrangements of red and white roses offer an elegant, time-honored way to pay tribute to departed loved ones.


Red and white roses hold special significance at funerals due to their symbolic colors and rich history. Red roses honor passionate love and celebrate vibrant life, while white roses represent purity, remembrance, and hope. Together, they form a beautiful, meaningful arrangement acknowledging both fond farewells and spiritual reunions. Funeral roses provide mourners with consoling messages of love and devotion persisting beyond death. Whenever red and white roses grace a casket, they silently speak volumes about the precious gifts of love, joy, spirit, and memory that live on after loss.