This Sunday is not the start of Advent or Christmas.
It’s Christ the King and the climax of the Christian year.
But the the first line of the old 6th-century collect for this Sunday, which some Anglican churches will have as the Post Communion prayer, has led to the popular name Stir Up Sunday.
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
It has long been claimed that this is the day when you should stir the Christmas pudding although Christopher Howse in this Saturday’s Telegraph says that “it’s too late for them to mature – unless they are for Christmas next year”.
Lidl sells a pudding matured for nine months which means it was made at Easter.
Alison Oakervee writes about Stir Up Sunday and the Book of Common Prayer in this week’s Waitrose Weekend paper.
On another page Bake Off winner Martha Collison, who suggests a pudding recipe, reveals how much she enjoys “the familiarity of the year-on-year traditions”.
But the best explanation so far for Christ the King is in Christopher Howse’s Sacred Mysteries column this Saturday.
Advent and a new Christian year start next weekend.