We went to the Good Friday service this morning. I had been asked to be one of the scripture readers of the 15th chapter of Mark, the account of the crucifixion. The service was short—just a half hour. At the end I realized that all the participants were women: the student intern who planned and conducted the service, the four scripture readers, the two soloists. The last two verses read were 40 and 41, “There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less, and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also when he was in Galilee followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.”
It was about thirty years ago that a minister pointed out to me that only Jesus’ women followers had been at the scene. There are many historical reasons for women having been shut out of the hierarchy of the church, but it still seems incomprehensible to me that that exclusion lasted so long and lingers on in the Roman Catholic Church. I have thought about this a lot, not denigrating men because I have been blessed in having been surrounded by wonderful men, father, uncles, husband, two sons. I have never been subjected to my being thought of as inferior because I am a woman. But why have so many other women?