Music was an important element of both temple and synagogue worship. Undoubtedly this music and its forms influenced the form and use of music in the early Christian church. Both Jews and Christians revere a transcendent God and both give honor to Scripture. For these reasons and others, Jewish synagogue worship and modern Christian services are similar in content and spirit.
Music in the temple was made for the worship of God. More than 10 percent of the people serving in temple ministries were musicians. Their music occupied a central place in the worship of God’s people.
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.