Set in Moravia in 1900. Jenufa, loved by Laca, has a son by Steva. Steva denies responsibility and is set to marry the mayor's daughter Karolka. Thinking that she would aid a marriage between Laca and Jenufa the sexton, Kostelnicka drowns the baby in the brook and tells Jenufa that it has died. Jenufa and Laca are about to be married as are Steva and Karolka. As the ceremony begins news comes that the body of a baby has been found under the ice. The Kostelnicka steps forward and confesses her guilt. Comforted by Jenufa's forgiveness, she is led away. Jenufa now turns to Laca and gives him his freedom; but he is faithful, and as the curtain falls they pledge their love.