Flowers in a cemetery are a common sight, and they are also a common engraving on gravestones, in particular, the rose.
The rose represents love and purity and the brevity of life on earth.
Life like a blooming flower is never meant to be permanent. The development stage of a rose indicates how old the deceased was at time of death. A bud is usually a child 12 or under; a partial bloom represents a teenager; and if it is in full bloom, the deceased died in the prime of life.
Another symbol of the death of a young person is a broken rosebud. It symbolizes that life was cut short.
A strong bond between two people (e.g., mother and child who died at the same time) is represented by two rosebuds joined.
Several rosebuds on the same branch signifies secrecy.
A rose and a poppy signify eternal sleep.
In death, the colour of the rose is significant although this is not something present in a cemetery. A red rose represents martyrdom a Tudor rose is beauty, and a white rose symbolizes purity.
A wreath of roses can represent beauty or that the deceased was innocent and sinless.
The following verse is popular in funeral prayer cards.
A rose once grew where all could see,
Sheltered beside a garden wall.
And, as the days passed swiftly by,
It spread its branches, straight and tall.
One day, a beam of light shone through
A crevice that had opened wide –
The rose bent gently toward its warmth
Then passed beyond to the other side.
Now you who deeply feel its love,
Be comforted – the rose blooms there –
Its beauty even greater now,
Nurtured by God’s own loving care.