Worship in diversity
While the main parish service is usually held on Sunday at 10 am or at noon, many other services in a variety of styles are offered on other days and at other times.
Special services are organised regularly as part of the school programme, along with other services for children and young people.
The Thomas Mass and Taizé services both appeal largely to young adults exploring their spirituality. Recent phenomena also include the Metal Mass and the Pop Mass, which reinterpret familiar hymn tunes.
Baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals bring many people to church, as do Christmas, Holy Week and Easter. Advent Sunday – when the hugely popular hymn Hoosianna is sung – traditionally sees large attendances. On All Saints' Day and Christmas Eve, many people gather in churches and at cemeteries to visit the graves of their departed loved ones and light candles in their memory.
Parishes also occasionally organise special family services, or invite people from a particular area, age group or profession to the Sunday service – an invitation that naturally doesn't affect the welcome that is offered to everyone.
The Eucharist (Holy Communion), which is called messu (Mass) in Finnish and högmässa (High Mass) in Swedish, is usually the main Sunday service, although sometimes a non-eucharistic Service of the Word is offered. Lutherans place special emphasis on Baptism and the Eucharist as the sacraments instituted by Christ. All who are baptised may receive Holy Communion, although children and young people who are not yet confirmed must be accompanied by a parent or godparent.