This Sunday is traditionally known as “Stir Up Sunday,” the day to “stir up” the Christmas pudding and Christmas cake without which British Christmas festivities would not be complete. The name “Stir Up Sunday” comes from the first line of the (1662) Book of Common Prayer collect (that is the prayer of the day that “collects” up the themes of the readings) for the this the last Sunday before Advent. That same prayer, adapted into more modern language, is now the Church of England’s prayer after communion for this Sunday:
Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruait of good works, may by you be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The mention of fruit has been seen by some (who obviously weren’t paying too much attention to the real meaning!) as a reminder to put plenty of dried fruit in the cake and pudding!
I shall be following tradition, and making our Christmas cake and puddings after church tomorrow, doing all the work that can be done in advance this afternoon.