ORDO CENTURIONUM * IN HOC SIGNO VINCES * TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM
Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity, MMXII
Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful; that the divine fruit of their work they may more readily fulfill; and of thy goodness and remedies they may perceive greater things, through the Lord...
STIERE [Stir] up we beseche thee, O Lord, the wylles of thy faythfull people, that they, plenteously bringing furth the fruite of good workes; may of thee, be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christe our Lorde. Amen.
In my tradition we hear this collect always on the last Sunday before Advent. We have called that Sunday "Stir Up Sunday". Since most recipes called for Christmas Pudding to stand for several weeks, it became a practical command to stir up the pudding that day."Stir up, we beseech thee, The pudding in the pot, And when we get home, We'll eat it all hot!"
It is practically a request that God stir us up for the coming season too.
The Advent is all about the 1st and 2nd coming of Christ, and the Sundays before the Advent help us to close out the old Church year and look forward to the new coming Church year beginning the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Andrew on 30 November.
In the Lutheran Tradition under our study this year, this collect is appointed for the 24th Sunday after Trinity with the lessons shown above and at the link.
One may compare today's collect with the Epistle to the Colossians as appointed. Paul wrotes that he prayed that they may be "filled with the knowledge of his [God's] will". That is to be stirred up by the Lord, and what is the result of this petition? Paul wrote, "being fruitful in every good work." It is not hard to imagine that the minister composing this collect, perhaps Galatia himself, had this passage in mind. Finally, we continue to the reward. Paul points directly to the redemption through the blood of Christ, and our collect calls for us to perceive this greatest good thing, the remedy for our souls.