Casket sprays soften the finality of the funeral and interment, providing a measure of comfort to the bereaved. Unlike grave blankets, which incorporate evergreens, casket sprays use tender seasonal flowers. They range in size from full -- covering the entire casket -- to half-sprays, which cover the lower half of an open casket. The surviving spouse, close family, children or grandchildren of the deceased order the casket spray, according to funeral etiquette.
Attach short-stemmed or delicate-stemmed flowers to floral picks using green florist's tape, winding it from the base of each bloom around and down the pick from end to end. Attach all greens to floral picks using the same method.
Remove the oasis blocks from the casket saddle and run them under water until they are fully soaked. Allow the oasis foam to drain in a sink until damp but not dripping, and return the foam to the casket saddle.
Turn the casket saddle -- a contoured holder with a foam oasis that serves as a base for your casket spray -- so that one narrow end faces you. Insert the longest, strongest-stemmed, largest flowers into the corners and short ends of the foam oasis in the casket saddle, to create the basic shape and length of the casket spray.
Fill in spaces at the short ends and across the long sides with more delicate long-stemmed flowers, followed by medium-length and short-stemmed blooms, until you are satisfied with the overall mood and appearance of the arrangement.
Fill in any remaining space with long-stemmed greenery, followed by medium-length and short-stemmed greens.
Position any script-ribbon picks so that they can be seen and read from all possible approaches to the open side of the casket. Give "prime" position to script ribbons denoting the bereaved spouse's relationship to the deceased, followed by those of any surviving children, grandchildren and other family members, in that order.
Assist the spouse, children or grandchildren of the deceased with choosing flowers that reflect their relationship with the deceased or aspects of the deceased's personality, using the language of flowers. A spouse might select alstroemeria to reflect the couple's loving bond, pink carnations or forget-me-nots for perpetual remembrance, daffodils for "you're the only one" or holly for domestic happiness, for example. If the deceased has no surviving spouse, children or grandchildren, other family members may order the casket spray. If no other family members can afford to do so, employers and close friends may contribute to this expense with the family's permission.