Host a Way of the Cross for victims of abortion

One of the most moving events the Pro-Life Action League hosts each year is the Way of the Cross for Victims of abortion, held each year on Good Friday at abortion facilities across the country.

You can host a Way of the Cross service at the abortion facility in your area, and this page has all the tools you need, including an ecumenical prayer service booklet, templates to promote your event through e-mail and in churches, advice on practical considerations, and more.

Though this devotion has Catholic roots, the Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion is completely ecumenical. Every year, Christians of every denomination take part as both leaders and participants.

Use the guidelines below below to plan and host your service:

Choose your time and location

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. It will also be helpful to review our page on “Learn to distinguish public property from private property.”

No abortion facility nearby? 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.

At the Pro-Life Action League we typically hold our service at 10:00 a.m. to accommodate local Good Friday church services. Check with churches in your area to make sure you’re not conflicting with other Good Friday services.

Once you’ve decided on the details for your service, please email the Pro-Life Action League with the time, date, and location including physical address of your service so we can add it to our list of sites.

Recruit clergy to lead your event

Way of the Cross participants always appreciate it when these prayers are presented by clergy, and this can also boost attendance. Issue your invitation to preside over the Way of the Cross to a local priest, pastor, deacon, or bishop as soon as possible. Good Friday can be a busy day for clergy with many services to conduct, so give them plenty of notice.

Publicize your event

Get the word out about your event every way you can. See our pages on “Increase turnout by using good promotional tools” and “Promoting your pro-life event on Facebook” for detailed instructions on how to promote your event.

Here are some sample text you can use or modify to promote your event on Facebook and Twitter:

  • On the day Jesus was crucified, let’s remember all innocent victims, especially the smallest. #abortion #ProLifeGoodFriday
  • Jesus united Himself with all the victims of suffering. None suffer more innocently than the victims of #abortion. #ProLifeGoodFriday
  • On Good Friday Jesus died on Golgotha. His image is destroyed 1000s of times a day at OUR Golgotha, the #abortion clinic. #ProLifeGoodFriday
  • Good Friday, the day Jesus DIED, is the perfect day to stand up for LIFE! #ProLifeGoodFriday
  • Are you thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice on Good Friday? Then do something for your unborn brothers and sisters today! #ProLifeGoodFriday

We offer the following templates to help with your promotional efforts:

For each of these templates, be sure to remove all bracketed text and replace it with the correct details for your event before sending these out. (And, in the case of the customizable flyer, be sure to download a copy to your computer first before making any changes.)

Finally, consider contact contacting 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 events in recent years. See our page on “Earning good media coverage for your pro-life efforts” for detailed instructions.

Use this sample press release as a starting point for your press release. Note: When using any of these templates, be sure to find all the bracketed sections and fill in the correct information for your event.

Print your service booklets

We’ve prepared booklet that you can have printed at your local print shop for this ecumenical prayer service. We’ve had great results at FedEx Office, but any office supply shop or print shop should be able to handle the job.

Download your Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion Prayer Book [PDF] and tell the shop 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. If you don’t use them all this year, you might need them next year as your event grows in popularity.

If you only need a few copies and can print at home, you may prefer this home printing version of the booklet [PDF] in which the pages are laid out consecutively.

Additionally, a mobile-friendly version of the booklet is available here [PDF].

Other concerns

Stationary versus moving service: The Way of the Cross service presented in the video at the top of this page shows participants moving from one station to the next in a large open space. This is optional, depending on the location of your service and whether you have a way to mark out stations for your service, like the stations staked in the ground in the video (see below for building instructions).

This is a Constitutionally protected activity: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects your right to engage in this kind of public prayer witness. Police are unlikely to disrupt your event, but please review our page on “Working with police at your pro-life event” so you’re prepared to talk to the police if they turn up. Should you have any concerns about this area, feel free to contact us.

Optional: Build your own stations

Stations of the Cross at Planned Parenthood

If there’s ample public space at your Way of the Cross location, you may wish to build some stations to stake into the ground so that your participants can walk from station to station, as one would in a church.

To build your own stations, download the Way of the Cross images [PDF], or find others that you like, and get them printed at your a local print shop like FedEx Office.

We recommend having them printed on tabloid paper (11″ x 17″)—in color if you can afford it—and laminated. If you print tabloid size, make sure the print shop knows you want the images blown up to fit the paper.

Next, get 14 1×2 posts and cut them about 5′ tall with an angle on one end to stake in the ground, and nail an 18″ piece across the other end (see an example in the video, above).

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 create pilot holes with smaller stakes first, so you don’t have to pound directly on the station very much.

If you’d like more information on building your own stations, please contact us.

Document your service

It’s important to take pictures of any pro-life event you coordinate. Sharing these photos will increase the impact of your event, and help to encourage future participation. Short videos are also a great idea. Please share your photos and videos with the League; either e-mail us directly with photos and videos, or send links to any photos and videos you post on Facebook, YouTube or other sites.

You can also post pictures or videos to the Pro-Life Action League’s Facebook page and we’ll share them with all our followers!

Sign up to lead a Pro-Life Way of the Cross!

Now that you know what’s involved with leading the Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion, sign up with the form below to lead a service on Good Friday at your local abortion facility. And remember, we’re here to help if you encounter any questions or problems.

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