SYMBOLS Stories of cultural life.


A rose usually represents love and unfailing love, beauty, fragility or hope.  

It is also associated with the Virgin Mary (the “rose without thorns”).  

While a red rose can symbolize martyrdom, a white rose symbolises purity and virginity.  

Whether the rose is a bud, flower or somewhere in between indicates how old the person was at the time of death:
- Just a bud: Normally a child, twelve or under.
- Partial bloom: Normally a teenager.
- Full bloom: Normally in early/mid twenties. It signifies that the deceased died in the prime of life.
- Rosebud, broken: Life cut short, usually found on a young person’s grave. Rosebuds, joined: Strong bond between two people (e.g., mother and child who died at the same time)
- Rosebuds, several on same branch: Secrecy Rosette: The Lord, messianic hope, promise, love. Wreath of Rose: Beauty and virtue rewarded. 


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