Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stir Up Sunday

The Last Sunday of the Church's Year of Grace gives evidence of Advent having five weeks at a much earlier period – since its collect, Excita q͠ms Dñe, is so manifestly similar to those of that season (as four of the traditional Advent collects begin with the same word).  It is in a way both alpha et omega (should that be alpha kai omega?), both the Last and the First Sunday.

The collect of this Sunday, with the new literal translation thereof for use at the Ordinary Form Mass during the last week of Ordinary Time, is as follows:

Excita, quæsumus, Domine, tuorum fidelium voluntates: ut divini operis fructum propensius exsequentes, pietatis tuæ remedia majora percipiant. Per...

Stir up the will of your faithful, we pray, O Lord, that, striving more eagerly to bring your divine work to fruitful completion, they may receive in greater measure the healing remedies your kindness bestows. Through...

Having again celebrated Christus Rex last night at the parish OF Vigil Mass, it was a great way to mark the end of the long green season after Pentecost by praying this collect at the end of Lauds this morning.

Interestingly, this prayer was reasonably well-rendered by that heresiarch Cranmer:

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.

However, it is curious that he refocussed the prayer on the reward owing to good works, since that, surely, is not a very Protestant thing to focus on at all!

Referring to this prayer, playing on words, this Sunday cooks were traditionally meant to "stir up" the Christmas pudding mixture, and get it bagged, ready to be boiled up on Christmas morn once the delectable contents had matured.

(Myself, I enjoyed a family picnic, albeit overtaken by a thunderstorm! at which my birthday yester-day was celebrated.  My aunt makes a most delicious pavlova.)

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