|July 31, Sunday, Helsinki
A nice and slightly cooler day. We went to church this morning at the Lutheran Cathedral, though, as expected, the service was in Finnish. The liturgy was fairly easy to follow, and we were able to pronounce (somewhat) the Finnish and sing the hymns. Much of the liturgy is sung and follows the form of the Catholic mass with which we are familiar. There was the Kyrie, Credo, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, etc. The organ music was terrific. Unfortunately, there were probably not more than 100 in attendance in a church that likely seats 700. Though 95% of Finns claim to be Lutheran, church attendance in Scandinavia is lower even than in the U.S. Though I could understand little of the service it brought back memories of my father telling me about growing up in the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Potlatch.
We then walked down to the waterfront and toured the Finnish Orthodox Church, a brick building with many golden domes together with the beautiful iconostasis inside.
We bought some blueberries in the outdoor market and had lunch of "reindeer balls" (I kid you not) which were quite tasty. In the afternoon we took the tram to the National Museum of Finland which had very good sections on the pre-history of Finland up to modern times.
We took another circle on one of the multiply articulated trams, very new and with 5 sections, touring mainly the waterfront areas. We had dinner at the same self-service Italian restaurant that we went to last night. One more day in Helsinki and then we head for home.