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Stir-Up Sunday

In ENGLAND some people still refer to the Sunday before the beginning of ADVENT as “Stir-Up Sunday.” The name comes from the traditional collect (or prayer) offered in Anglican churches on that day. It reads: “Stir up, we beseech Thee O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of Thee be plenteously rewarded.” In past times the words “stir up,” however, also reminded people to begin preparing their Christmas puddings (see also PLUM PUDDING). Children chanted a rhymed verse on that day that mixed the words of the collect with requests for special Christmas fare: “Stir up, we beseech thee, the pudding in the pot, and when we do get home tonight, we’ll eat it up all hot.” Thus, the preparation of the Christmas pudding eventually became associated with this day. Folk beliefs advised each family member to take a turn stirring the pudding, an act that was believed to confer good luck. Another custom encouraged stirrers to move the spoon in clockwise rotations, close their eyes, and make a wish.

  • Gaudete Sunday
  • Plum Pudding
  • Lace Cookies
  • Christmas in England
  • Lamb’s Wool
  • Sugarplums
  • Holly
  • Christmas Wreaths
  • St. Stephen’s Day
  • Decorating


    Rolled Cookies