The church’s year traditionally begins on Advent Sunday, which is the fourth Sunday before Christmas and falls on December 3rd in 2023. In the old Book of Common Prayer, the Sunday one week before that has always been known as “The Sunday Next Before Advent”. It’s actually still known as that, although because of the theme of the readings set for that Sunday, its more common title in the church’s calendar these days is “Christ The King”.
However, it also has another more colloquial name, which is Stir Up Sunday. The name comes from the opening words for the collect for the day in the old prayer book:
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;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Britain at least, the reminder in those first two words meant that Stir Up Sunday became the traditional day on which to Stir Up the ingredients for, and make, your Christmas Pudding.
The Collect for the day has since changed to fit with Christ The King readings, but the “Stir up” prayer, in slightly modernised language, has been kept as the Post Communion prayer. Listen out for it towards the end of the 9:30am service on November 26th, and maybe it’ll remind you to go home and make your Christmas Pudding ready for the big day.