On a bleak Friday afternoon, our savior Jesus Christ was crucified at Golgotha, “the place of the skull.” Today, we have our own Golgotha: the abortion clinic, where two thousand years after the Crucifixion, His image is violently destroyed, again and again, by abortion.
That’s why, for the last five years, the Pro-Life Action League has marked Good Friday with a pro-life “Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion” at our local Planned Parenthood.
We’ve found this activity to be such a blessing, one of our favorite pro-life activities of the year. So this year we’re calling on pro-lifers like you nationwide to join us in hosting a “Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion” at your local abortion facility.
And, we’re providing you with all the tools you need to make it happen in your area, including an ecumenical prayer service book, templates to promote your event through e-mail and in churches, advice on practical considerations and more!
Though the devotion of the Stations of the Cross has Catholic roots, the service we conduct is completely ecumenical. People of every denomination join us every year and there is no material in the book that would be offensive to non-Catholics to pray. Please feel free to join or host a Way of the Cross no matter what your denomination.
All the Tools to Host Your Own Way of the Cross
Hosting your own “Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion” may sound daunting if you’ve never organized something like this before, but if you follow these simple steps, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful event that will be a blessing to everyone involved.
Get a complete list of all the resources listed in the instructions right here
1. Choose Your Location and Time
Choose the local abortion facility where you’d like to hold your event. If there is more than one facility in your area, you will want to take into account practical considerations like whether there is enough room for people to safely stand outside the facility, parking and other issues.
If there are no abortion facilities in your area, you could host your Way of the Cross at a memorial for the victims of abortion (find one here) or at a local church.
We at the League have held ours at 10 a.m. because it fits well with our local churches’ schedules, but you’ll want to check with churches in your area to make sure you’re not conflicting with other services on Good Friday.
2. Recruit Clergy to Lead Your Event
It’s always a great help to have some clergy to help lead the prayers. You’ll want to get invitations out to priests, pastors or deacons as soon as possible. Good Friday can be a busy day for clergy with many services to conduct so you’ll want to give them plenty of notice.
3. Publicize Your Event
Get the word out about your event every way you can. Local church bulletins and pulpit announcements are great ways to let people know. Use this sample bulletin announcement to get started.
Church bulletin deadlines are typically the Monday before the Sunday you want it in the bulletin. That means if you want your event in the bulletin on Sunday, March 17, you need to have your announcement to the church secretary by Monday, March 11. For Sunday, March 24, get your announcement in by Monday, March 18.
Once you’ve got your bulletin announcement set, get the word out throughe-mail. You can use this sample e-mail as a starting point for a message.
Send an e-mail to all your personal contacts and ask around to see if any local churches, pro-life or other sympathetic groups might send an e-mail to their contacts as well. Be sure to post about your Way of the Cross on Facebook and other social media too.
Finally, contact your local media to let them know about your Way of the Cross service. We’ve had several local television stations out to our Way of the Cross in recent years.
Find the contact information for your local TV stations, newspapers and local news websites and send them a press release. Use this sample press releaseas a template for your own.
Note: When using all of these templates, be sure to find all the bracketed sections and fill in the correct information for your event.
4. Print Your Booklets
We’ve put together the ecumenical prayer service we use into an 8 page booklet that you can have printed at your local print shop. We’ve had great results going to Fedex Office, but any office supply shop or small print shop should be able to print them for you.
Download the file right here [PDF] and tell them to print the number of copies you’d like on white letter-sized paper, black and white, double sided and saddle-stapled. They should be very cheap to print.
Get a few more copies than you think you’ll need. You might be surprised by your turnout, and even if you don’t use them all, you can save them for future use.
5. Document Your Event
Be sure to take pictures and videos of your Way of the Cross event, and e-mail us the pictures and videos or links to them if you’re hosting them on Flickr, Youtube or other sites. We’d love to put together a slideshow and video playlist of events from around the country.
6. Other Concerns
You may have seen the video above that features us moving from station to station. That is completely optional. Feel free to move around to stations if you have them or stay in one place and simply pray through the book.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects your right to engage in this kind of public prayer witness. Should you have any concerns about this area, feel free to contact us.
7. Optional: Build Your Own Stations
At our local Planned Parenthood, we’ve been blessed with a vacant lot across the street from the facility. As such, we chose to build some stations of our own which we stake into the ground around the lot so we can walk from station to station as one would in a church
To build stations, get 14 1×2 posts. Cut them about 5′ tall with an angle on one end to stake in the ground, and with a cross piece going across the other end. Next, go to your print shop and have images of each station printed and laminated. You can find the beautiful hi-res images we used here. Color is a nice touch if you can afford it. Finally, staple the prints to the cross beam on top of each station.
At your location, pound each station into the ground with a hammer. We’ve found it helpful to bring some smaller stakes to use to pound pilot holes so you don’t have to pound directly on the station very much. If you’d like more information on building your own stations, feel free to contact the League by e-mail.