10 Tips for Writing Amazing Candle Lighting Poems

Bat & Bar Mitzvah Candle Lighting Ceremony Poems

By Jill Starishevsky, The Poem Lady

Candlelighting Poem Advice for Your Bat / Bar Mitzvah or Sweet 16

10.  Get inspired.  Think about an anecdote or personal trait that makes this person special to you and write it down.

Try to stay away from generic language that any guest might fit.  Let your honorees know that you put some thought into their poem.  Here is an example:

My Nanny Tachie is extraordinary, of this I am quite sure
A Depression era pack rat and full of energy I adore
Nanny Pearl at 97 is a dynamo in every way
She enjoys a vodka every night and a chocolate every day
My great grandmothers live in California and couldn’t be here for all the fun
I know they are proud of me and for them I light candle one


9. Make poems that are 4-8 lines. 

Too few will be hard to convey your message and too many might bore your audience.

 8. Try to keep each poem the same length.

You don’t want Grandma to be upset that she got 4 lines when Uncle Bill got 8.

7. If you are having trouble finding a word to rhyme with another word, you can either pick a different word (like choosing “great” instead of “good” or “sweet” instead of “nice”) or try seeking outside help.  Rhyme zone is a great rhyming dictionary on-line that comes in handy for those tough to rhyme words.

Related Post: Candle Lighting Ceremony Ideas

** More Resources for Candle Lighting Poems & Speech Writing **

6. Try to make the first line rhyme with the second line and the third line rhyme with the fourth line.

It’s an AABBCCDD pattern that makes it simpler to read and find a rhyming word.

5. If you know who you want to call up to light the candle, find a word that rhymes with their name.

For example, They convinced Mom and Dad to give me my first cell phone – Please come on up Uncle Bill and Aunt Joan.

Bar & Bat Mitzvah, Wedding Venues & Vendors

4. An easy method to use is to find a last line that rhymes with the number you are on. 

For example:

Grandma’s cooking always tastes like heaven,
So come on up to light candle number eleven.
Cousins Steve and Janet always come through
Please come join me for candle two.


3. There are a few catch phrases that you can use for any poem such as:

 …I love you …
Come light candle number two.
To my aunt and uncle whom I truly adore
Please come up to light candle number four

Here is an example of how you turn the notes you jot down into a poem.

For Grandma & PopPop:  Michael is their first and only grandchild, he has slept there
every Friday the first 2 years of his life, and still sleeps over at times.  They took him skiing for the
first time when he was 4, they take him to movies, play cards, you name it, they do it for him!

Turn that into:

There are two special people here who I just love and adore
They introduced me to skiing when I was a boy of four
I have learned so much from both of them about being a good friend
Whether it’s at the movies or playing cards, there’s laughter without end
When I was little I stayed with them almost every Friday night
Grandma & PopPop it’s number twelve, I’d love your help to light


2. If there is someone on the list that your family knows, but you don’t know so well, be sure to speak to your family and get some insight into who they are and why they are special. 

Example: For a very dear friend of Mom and Dad’s – JoAnn.  Steven’s mom has known JoAnn since they were 6 and of course JoAnn knows Steven since his birth.  She helped the family a great deal when Mom and Dad were going through a divorce.  She helped move them from

Staten Island to NJ, she stayed there for 2 weeks to help them settle in.  Always there for Mom, serious or fun…she is a lot of fun to be around.

Turn that into:

This next candle is for a family friend who’s always there in a fix
She’s known me since my birth and known Mom since they were six
From Staten Island to New Jersey, she helped us with our move
Two weeks she kept us company, till we got into a groove
Always fun to be around, that’s why I’m such a fan
Please come up for candle eleven, mom’s dear friend JoAnn


1. Most important, just remember to have fun and enjoy your special day!

Remember to practice your poems and speak slowly and clearly.  Even the best poems go unappreciated if they are read too fast.  Take your time and enjoy the moment.  You have worked hard for this day.  Remember to take it all in.

Jill Starishevsky is the lead writer for The Poem Lady.  She is a published poet and author who has been charming clients with her poems for over twenty years.  Jill pens personalized pieces for all occasions.  Birthdays, bar mitzvahs or any shower, let her make you the toast of the hour.  Learn more about The Poem Lady at http://www.ThePoemLady.com.  Feel free to reach Jill at heymannyc@yahoo.com.  You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

** More Resources for Candle Lighting Poems & Speech Writing **

Mazelmoments™ helps you plan any Jewish-inspired event, such as a Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah or Jewish Wedding. Find VenuesKosher Caterers, Chuppah & Ketubah Designs, Photographers, Bar Mitzvah Invitations, Centerpieces, Judaica, Rabbis, Mohels & more.

Written by Cigall Goldman

Cigall Goldman