The movie starts during the ending moments of Tomas' church service. There are only a handful of people at the service. Among these people are Jonas Persson, a fisherman and Karin, his wife and Marta, Tomas' ex-mistress. Although Tomas is coming down with a cold, when the service is over he must get ready for another service located in a different town at 3 o'clock. Before he is able to leave, the Perssons approach him to talk to him.