Sunday, November 29, 2009

Did you know it's "Stir Up Sunday?"

Most Christians recognize this as the first Sunday of Advent, the season of preparation before Christmas. However, in some Catholic churches, this Sunday is also unofficially recognized as "Stir Up Sunday." (In Anglican and Episcopalian churches, "Stir It Up Sunday" was last Sunday.) This name is taken from the opening prayer of the day, which goes:

Stir up thy power, O Lord, and come,

that by thy protection we may be rescued

from the dangers that beset us through our sins;

and be a Redeemer to deliver us;

Who livest and reignest with God the Father

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

ever one God, world without end.

Traditionally, this is the day that families make their holiday pudding to ensure it is properly matured before Christmas. The whole family takes a turn at stirring the mixture; while doing so they make a wish for the coming year. A coin may also be thrown into the pudding. It is believed that the person who finds it on Christmas Day will have wealth and happiness throughout the year.

You certainly don't need to be Catholic, Episcopalian or Anglican to observe this little tradition with your family. If you would like to try it, Recipezaar has a simple Christmas pudding recipe. They recommend using a metal bowl covered with foil if you don't have a pudding mold.

Nestle's website also has a recipe for a pretty chocolate Christmas Pudding. (Its pudding is pictured above.)

Maybe you can think of some other ways to "stir it up" today?   I can think of Johnny Nash's 1972 hit recording; perhaps play it for your kids and have them invent a special "stir it up" dance.  Not your typical pre-holiday activity, but isn't that the point of "stirring it up?"

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