This Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent is known as ‘stir up Sunday’ taken from the words at the beginning of the collect for the day found in the Book of Common Prayer.
‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people’
According to tradition Victorian families would gather on this Sunday to make and stir up their Christmas puddings, which as all good cooks know should be made in advance of the big day and then heated up for several hours on Christmas Morning ready to be served after the main course having had brandy poured over it and set fire to.
Silver six pences were put into the puddings to bring good luck and each member of the family stirred it whilst making a wish for the coming year.
I’ve been known to make a pudding and a Christmas Cake but it’s a very rare occasion now.
The Victorians had a point get the preparations underway early to gain more time later on
This Sunday is also celebrated as Christ the King.
Instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925
He said it was to remind catholic people of their allegiance to Christ, coming just after the end of the 1st world war, it was to demonstrate that true lasting peace can only be found in Christ Jesus, the prince of peace who sits at the right hand of God, king of kings, lord of lords.
Most Anglican communities also celebrate this feast day on the last Sunday before Advent.
Perhaps we should take time this weekend to reflect as we stir up our Christmas puddings and make a wish for lasting world peace as we too remember the end of the 1st world war a hundred years ago.
Perhaps we should pray that our wills be stirred up enough to make a difference in our world as we look forward to our coming journey through Advent.