Candle Lighting Ceremonies that Make Memories

The candle lighting ceremony is a unique and sentimental moment in a bat/bar mitzvah. It gives a chance for the guest of honor to show their appreciation for the special people in their life who have given them guidance and support, and reflect on everything that has led up to the moment.

Photo: Alison Frank Photography

Candle Lighting Display

There is usually a candle for every year of the mitzvah’s life, and a person selected for each candle. But nothing is set in stone, and the candle lighting ceremony is another opportunity to be creative.  At Sam’s bar mitzvah, the bar mitzvah boy lit only three candles. The first candle honored the memory of their deceased relatives; the second candle was for Sam’s family and the third for his friends. An all-inclusive candle lighting ceremony!

Families are also getting creative with the display itself.  While the traditional name display with long candles is still popular, there are many other ways to present the candle lighting.

Creative Stands

Unique cupcake bat mitzvah candle lighting ceremonyPhoto from Dance Time Entertainment. View Emily’s Eatery Bat Mitzvah.

Candles & Candy

Bar Mitzvah Candle Lighting Display - Candles & Candy Balloon Artistry created an eye-catching candle lighting display using candles and initial dishes filled with candy.  You can find similar Letter Dishes at Koyal Wholesale.

Seating Chart

Creative Bat Mitzvah Candle Lighting Ideas - Candles Used As Seating Chart

Flower Power Designs used creativity and expertise to create a beautiful candle lighting display that doubled as the guest seating chart!

Cupcake Candle Lighting

Sports Theme Bar Mitzvah Cake & Candle LightingPhoto from The Event of a Lifetime.  View Alex’ Sports Theme Bar MItzvah.

Standout Flower Initial

Pink Flower Initial Bat Mitzvah Candle LightingPhoto by Lasting Memories Photography. View Gabby’s Fashion Theme Bat Mitzvah.

LED Display

LED Candle Lighting DisplayPhoto from VIP Caterers Boca. View more Ideas for an LED or Glow in the Dark Event.

 Candle Lighting to Match Your Child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah Theme

Many families also use the candle lighting ceremony as an opportunity to showcase the party theme (View 65+ Theme Ideas).


Travel Theme, Airplane Candle LightingCandle Lighting from Life O’ The Party.

Winter Wonderland

Winter Theme Candle Lighting Table has Vases filled with crystal chips, lights and floating candlesCandle Lighting from Balloon Artistry.  View Winter Wonderland Bat Mitzvah.


Tennis Theme Candle Lighting CeremonyPhoto from John Canning Fine Art Photography


Wood-Inspired Candles for Rustic Bat Mitzvah Candle Lighting Ceremony

For an organic, rustic theme Flower Power Designs created a candle lighting display that featured “wooden” candles, pine cones and green moss.

Candle Lighting Speeches & Poems

It’s important to say a few words with each candle lit, and it can be nerve wracking to make the speeches. You want to plan in advance to keep the ceremony light and fun, and the presentation relaxed and confident. The best way to ensure this is to get creative and include personal touches. You also want to carefully consider the order in which you will call people. Keep the speeches equal in length to avoid hurt feelings.

Have writer’s block?  There are many experts that can help you and your family with the candle lighting poem and other speeches.  View Candle Lighting Poem Companies.

Get Creative With Multi-Media

Flower Theme Candle LightingPhoto from A Magic Moment. View Sasha’s Flower Theme Bat Mitzvah.

You can write a poem for each person called. Another way to make the ceremony personal is to create a picture slideshow. Microsoft Powerpoint makes this super easy. You just have to upload pictures of the people who will be part of the ceremony. Let your DJ know in advance that you would like to do this and ask them to provide a large projection screen. E-mail them your slideshow in advance and have them help you arrange the playing of the show. While you map out the slide show, write down some memories inspired by the pictures and craft the speeches around them. Don’t be afraid to use note cards. Select some music to play. The more prepared you are, the easier the ceremony will flow.

According to Stacy Lawrence from Make An Impression – The Party Expert, the candle lighting ceremony “is something that should be rehearsed. Make sure that there is a good live microphone, maybe a wireless lapel microphone placed on the child. Secondly make sure the emcee is emphatic about getting the room silent or the sound of people talking will be intimidating as well as drowning out what is being said. Consider videotaping the candle lighting ceremony and showing segments a candle at a time. At my son’s Bar Mitzvah, he dressed up in different characters that correlated to the honored guests and was presented on a video.”

Melisa Imberman, from The Event of a Lifetime, also had a video produced for her client’s bat mitzvah.

Candle Lighting Video Bat MitzvahPlay Bat Mitzvah Video. Produced by Video Solutions of NY

Creative Backdrops

You can also make a splashy display or bakckdrop for your candle lighting ceremony.

Princess Candle LightingThis candle lighting backrop from Balloon Artistry creatively features the honoree’s name and incorporates the mitzvah theme and decor.

Also Check Out: 10 Tips for Writing Amazing Candle Lighting Poems

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Written by Lonni Delane