Catholic Activity: Stir-Up Sunday
On the first Sunday of Advent the family can practice the old custom of "Stir Up" during the making of Plum Pudding. If your family isn't inclined to eat fruit cake or puddings, try mixing up a favorite recipe, and have all members of the family take a turn to stir and make a wish and prayer.
On the first Sunday of Advent we bring to the dinner table the "Stir-up" or traditional English plum pudding for family and guests to stir. Each makes a wish, as he or she stirs, and then prays the Collect from the Mass of the day:
Stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, O Lord; and come so that we may escape through Thy protection and be saved by Thy help from the dangers that threaten us because of our sins. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever.
Afterwards the pudding is steamed and put away until the feast of Christmas. Then warmed brandy or rum is added and set ablaze; and the flaming pudding is brought to the dinner table to be served as soon as the flame burns out. Actually the pudding is prepared on the Saturday before "Stir-up" Sunday. Filled with the good things of the world, the pudding is supposed to represent Christ who will bring with Him on His birthday all the good things of heaven. Children love to work on the pudding, and the busy mother finds extra hands a great help in dicing, grating and juicing the fruits.
We use a recipe from Jubilee, November 1953. This recipe will make five pounds of pudding. Adolph Paganuzzi, chef of a well-known Greenwich Village, New York, pastry shop, reduced his famous recipe to family proportions for Jubilee.
See the link for this Plum Pudding and the recipe section of this site for variations on this recipe.
Activity Source: Family Advent Customs by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1954, 1979