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Priest

Komos Aba Meaza

Attendance

about 175

Service Length

4 hours

Sample Worshipper Dress

gray slacks, white shroud

Languages

Ge’ez, Amharic

Congregational Fervor

Some might consider Kedus Gabriel’s four-hour Sunday service a hefty time investment. Luckily the service kicks off early, at 7 a.m., so there’s plenty of daylight left when things wrap up at 11. For some congregation members, the start time apparently isn’t early enough. Several go-getters arrived even earlier on a recent Sunday to take advantage of a pre-worship prayer service. HHHHH

Food for the Soul

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Although everybody in attendance could appreciate Aba Meaza’s elegant posture and spirited hand gestures, the substance of his 45-minute sermon was lost on those not fluent in Amharic. “It was about angels,” said one regular congregation member after he was asked to summarize the speech. A push for further information yielded little: “It was about angels in the Bible,” the man elaborated. HHHHH

Food for the Body

The sore feet and red eyes that result from attending a four-hour service (90 percent of it spent standing) are a small price to pay when an Ethiopian brunch is waiting down in the fellowship hall. Kedus Gabriel’s postservice meal included a host of traditional delights including lentils, injera, and a delectable scrambled-egg dish. HHHHH

Overall Worship Power

When the collection plate comes by and all you’ve got is one large bill, it’s not like you can get change—or can you? Faced with this dilemma, one Kedus Gabriel congregation member removed $18 from the collection basket after dropping in a $20 bill.HHHHH

—Aaron Leitko