The Coptic and Ethiopian liturgies are textually similar but quite different in style and setting. The Coptic liturgy is sober and restrained, while the Ethiopian liturgy is full of life and exuberance.
Women appear at critical times in the life of their worship communities. Acting as prayer leaders, prophetesses, sages, or apostles, they perform deeds that embody the spirit and life of their community. To read their stories is to discover how this people experienced God and lived in fidelity to that relationship. Their communities remembered them and retold their stories, giving them honored place in the community’s oral and written memory. Their leadership continues to be handed on to renew life and spirit in communities faithful to their tradition. The importance of women in the worship life of biblical times may be seen in the stories of Miriam, Huldah, and the woman who anointed Jesus, as well as in the biblical personification of wisdom as a woman.
John 11 reveals Jesus loved both Martha and Mary (v.5), but that Mary had a special place in Christ’s heart and was able to minister to her deepest needs because of what Luke shows us: she was an undistracted worshiper.