One of the Pro-life Action League’s favorite events of the year is our “Peace in the Womb” Christmas caroling day.
The idea is simple: we bring the hope and joy of Christmas to one of the world’s darkest places, the abortion clinic, in hopes that the familiar sounds of Christmas carols might save a life.
And, in fact, lives have been saved by our peaceful, prayerful witness when women heard our songs from inside the abortion facility and chose life for their children.
Hold your own Caroling Day
Holding your own “Peace in the Womb” caroling day is one of the simplest pro-life events you can do. All you need are some song sheets [PDF] with your favorite carols and some pro-life friends. Gather outside the abortion facility, being sure to give space to any sidewalk counseling efforts that might be happening, and lift your voices in song.
If there are several abortion facilities in your area, you might consider doing a “Caroling Tour” and visiting three or four facilities with your caroling.
Where to stand when you sing
Be sure to take care to be standing on public property when you carol. Also, it’s important to know that even if you’re peaceful and on public property, abortion clinics will sometimes call the police.
See the Activism Basic Training unit “Working with police at your pro-life event” for more information on both of those topics.
Inviting people and promoting your caroling day
For tips on promoting your protest through email, social media, church bulletins and other avenues, see the Pro-Life Basic Training unit “Increase turnout by using good promotional tools”.
When you invite people to your caroling day, be sure to include:
- A brief explanation of the caroling day and its purpose.
- The complete itinerary, including times and street addresses.
- A reminder to dress for the weather.
- Encouragement to invite other pro-lifers to participate.
If you are planning to gather with the caroling group for cookies and hot chocolate afterwards (see below), include that in your invitation, too. You might also want to ask a people to bring a tray of their favorite Christmas cookies.
Print your caroling sheets.
At least a few days before your caroling day, get copies of your caroling song sheets. A great 8-page song booklet is available from the Pro-Life Action League here [PDF].
You can download this file—which is designed to work as a folded, stapled booklet—and e-mail it to a local print shop like Fed Ex Office for printing.
Colored paper can make your song sheets or booklets more festive, but be careful not to sacrifice readability (for example, it is difficult to read black text on red paper).
OPTIONAL: Build your “empty manger.”
If you’d like, you can build an “empty manger” to accompany your caroling day.
With just a couple of eight-foot lengths of 1-by-4 pine, an old broom and a few nails, you can build a great manger to gather around during each caroling site. Find complete directions right here. Give yourself a couple hours for this project.
Assign key jobs to members of your team.
For a great caroling day, it really helps to assign several important jobs to responsible individuals:
Song Leader: The entire group will sing more confidently if one person leads the singing, setting the pitch for each song. With help from the volunteers, the song leader should vary the set of songs sung at each caroling site.
Photographer: The best way to ensure you get good pictures of your caroling day is to assign someone to be the photographer—preferably someone with a digital camera and the ability to upload pictures to a computer for sharing. The photographer can also be responsible for shooting video, or you may wish to designate a videographer as well.
Song Sheet Distributor: This person not only passes out the song sheets to people as they arrive at each caroling site, but also collects them at the end of each site, encouraging participants who are going to the next site to hold onto their sheets. In colder climates, the song sheet distributor can also offer people hand warmers.
Police Liaison: Most likely you won’t encounter police during your caroling day, but if you do, have someone designated to talk to them. See details above under Where to stand when you sing.
On your caroling day, bring everything you need.
Song Sheets: Both wet conditions and gloved hands can do damage to song sheets [PDF], so bring a few more than you think you need.
Empty Manger (if using): The empty manger can also serve as a vehicle for storing song sheets and hand warmers between sites.
Hand warmers: Participants will really appreciate the special touch of offering them hand warmers—and the warmer they are, the more enthusiastically they will sing.
Flexibility: Be prepared to modify your plans if you encounter bad weather—like freezing rain or extreme cold. Sing fewer carols at each site if conditions are harsh.
Camera with Fresh Batteries: Always bring your camera with you when you do any pro-life activism. But a camera with a dead battery or no room for data is useless, so charge your batteries and clear your memory card in advance.
Refreshments: If you’re not planning to gather for hot chocolate and cookies after the last caroling site, you might still want to bring along some refreshments to share at the final site.
Take pictures and video of your caroling day.
Always bring your camera to every pro-life activity, including the caroling day. Take plenty of photos; it’s better to have too many to choose from than too few. If possible, also shoot some video of the caroling day.
You can share a photo slideshow with others at photo sites like Flickr and on Facebook and Twitter. There are also sites that will allow you to quickly create a video from your photos, complete with background music and special effects.
If you have access to the necessary video production software, you may wish to produce your own short video—one or two minutes, maximum—with your photos and footage. Share your video on YouTube.
If you create a slideshow or video, please send a link to the League at firstname.lastname@example.org to include with our annual country-wide round-up of caroling events.
Conclude your caroling day with hot chocolate and cookies.
There’s no better way to warm up after a successful caroling day than to gather with your fellow pro-lifers for hot chocolate and cookies at someone’s home or a local church. Invite participants to bring a tray of favorite Christmas cookies to share.
Share your caroling experience with the League
To help spread the word about this great pro-life activity and encourage other pro-lifers, write up a brief account of your caroling day, including anything especially notable like a mother choosing life for her baby after hearing the carols. Please e-mail your account to email@example.com.
If you have photos or video to share, please send those, too, or provide links in your e-mail.