On a cold winter's Sunday, the pastor of a small rural church, Tomas Ericsson, performs service for a tiny congregation; though he is suffering from a cold and a severe crisis of faith. After the service, he attempts to console a fisherman who is tormented by anxiety, but Tomas can only speak about his own troubled relationship with God. A school teacher offers Tomas her love as consolation for his loss of faith. But Tomas resists her love as desperately as she offers it to him. This is the second in Bergman's trilogy of films dealing with man's relationship with God.