A spirit of ecumenism this Christmas saw the Roman Catholic Christmas Mass being held in a Lutheran church in Tallinn on Saturday evening, the first time such an event had happened, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported.
The main factor in the change of venue – to the Kaarli Kirik in central Tallinn - was accommodating numbers under coronavirus conditions, with an additional link being the fact that Pope Francis had met with young people at the church during his official visit in September 2018.
Both Lutheran and Catholic churches, along with the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church (Constantinople Patriarchate), mark Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar, while the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in Estonia uses the Julian calendar, meaning Christmas falls in early January.
The original AK slot (in Estonian) is here.
The Kaarli Kirik (Charles' Church) was completed in 1870 on the site of an earlier church named after Sweden's King Charles XI. Notable for its twin towers, the church now sits on a traffic island. The main home of the Roman Catholic congregation in Tallinn is the St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral, on Vene street in the Old Town. Designed by Russian-Italian architect Carlo Rossi, the cathedral was consecrated 176 years ago to the day, at the time of writing.
Editor: Andrew Whyte