Welcome to St Thomas Mass!
Welcome to the St. Thomas Mass, Finland’s most popular ecumenical worship! We invite doubters and seekers to celebrate, worship God, serve their neighbour and grow together. Those who feel sinful and weak in their faith are especially welcome.
Every Sunday at 6 pm
At Mikael Agricola Church
Tehtaankatu 23, Helsinki
St. Thomas Mass welcomes non-Finnish speaking visitors and participants. You can also join in the service via our YouTube-channel.
St. Thomas Mass – A Celebration
The St. Thomas Mass is a celebration. Its starting point is the biblical story about the dinner celebration in the house of a Pharisee, with Jesus, the host, a prostitute and village folk all present.
The St. Thomas Mass is a Lutheran worship service, that has been influenced by ancient liturgical traditions of the Church, as well as by the spirit of ecumenism. It is named after the Apostle Thomas, who seemed to have more questions than answers in his faith.
The Mass draws hundreds of people, mainly young adults and people of working age, from all parts of the city and its surroundings. Its popularity is based on a few key factors such as:
A large preparation team
Love for those who feel sinful
Diverse, contemporary music
Strong presence of prayer throughout the Mass
A spirit of experimentation and renewal
Integration of modern spirituality and ancient tradition
Diverse people coming together
It takes a team of 50–70 people to prepare one mass. Approximately 15–30 of them are musicians and choir singers. People are needed in various roles such as prayer altar servers, text readers, and assistants of the Celebrant in leading the congregation to the confession of sins. Altogether, 18 pastors and lay people are needed to share the Wine and the Bread; these people also assist in intercession and counselling roles. The volunteer team is different each week. Preachers also come from various backgrounds and spiritual orientations.
The first St. Thomas Mass was held in the Mikael Agricola Church in the spring of 1988. Since then, the St. Thomas Mass has spread all over Finland. In addition to Helsinki, St. Thomas Masses are held regularly in Turku and Tampere and, from time to time, in most parishes. Additionally, the Mass is celebrated in dozens of locations in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany.
Order of the Mass
We use the Finnish Church Hymnal and the Thomas Mass Songbook in the mass. The order of the service combined with music notes can be found in Finnish at the back of the songbook.
Hymn and procession
Those who lead the Mass enter the church while the processional song or hymn is sung.
During this prayer time you can walk around the church and stop for silent meditation at the prayer altars. You may write your prayer request and hand it to the side altar server standing by; your requests will be prayed for during the week in St. Thomas Mass prayer groups. You may also pray together with one of the prayer assistants at the main altar and at the back of the church, and receive a blessing and anointment with oil. At least one of the prayer assistants will also be able to pray with you in English.
Many simply sit in their pew and meditate, or join in the singing.
Texts follow the liturgical year, with readings from either the Old Testament or New Testament epistles as well as the daily Gospel reading. A hymn or a song is sung before the readings. A Hallelujah chorus follows the announcement and the reading of the Gospel.
The preacher is usually an ordained priest, but lay people are also occasionally invited to preach.
The Apostles’ Creed
The offering is collected while a hymn or a song is sung.
Confession and Absolution
The Celebrant will lead us in the Confession of sins.
The Eucharistic prayer
Preface, Sanctus, Epiclesis (invocation of the Holy Spirit), Anamnesis (remembering the Saints), the Words of Institution, the Lord’s Prayer, the sharing of Peace, Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) and the distribution of the bread and the wine make up this part of the Mass. During the distribution peaceful hymns or songs are sung.
All baptized Christians are welcome to take the communion. Children are also given communion if the parent so requests. Children can also be blessed. If you want to have a blessing you can make a sign by keeping your hand on your shoulder.
”Go in Peace and serve the Lord with joy.”
During the last hymn or song, those serving in the Mass leave the church in procession. Afterwards, all participants are invited to join in for a cup of tea and fellowship downstairs in the crypt.
Contact and Further Information
Tuomasyhteisö ry. / The St. Thomas Community
Tehtaankatu 23 B
FI–00150 Helsinki, FINLAND
Rev. Kati Pirttimaa
tel. +358 444 910 339
Tel. +358 50 331 1634