Stir Up Sunday

by maggi dawn

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Stir Up Sunday is an old tradition in the UK.

The name comes from the first line of the Church of England collect (prayer) for the Sunday before Advent: “Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people…”

but is neatly re-applied to stirring up cakes and puddings for baking ready for Christmas – five weeks being just the right amount of time to “feed” the cakes and puddings with brandy so they are suitably rich and boozy when the feast arrives.

The whole prayer goes like this:

Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people; that they plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by you be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I like the spirit of this collect. It captivates something of an active spirituality, on the one hand praying for inspiration to take care of the world; on the other hand acknowledging that our own efforts are never going to be enough, and whatever spiritual help is on hand, we need it!

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