FREE Lent Madness article!

If you watched yesterday’s edition of Monday Madness, you know that Tim and Scott revealed a well-kept secret about the world’s most popular online Lenten devotion. Participation in Lent Madness is…(shhhhhh)…entirely free. You can simply download a bracket and vote during the weekdays of Lent.

Sure, you can purchase copies of The Saintly Scorecard: The Definitive Guide to Lent Madness 2018 or giant bracket posters to put up at church or Lent Madness mugs. And, yes, the Bible says (somewhere), “God loves a cheerful purchaser of Lent Madness tchotchkes.”

But beyond our “no purchase necessary” approach to Lenten learning, we have one more item to give you. A token of our appreciation; a free pre-Lenten gift in the form of…an article about Lent Madness!

Perhaps you edit your church’s newsletter. Maybe you like to share really long posts on Facebook. Or spam your friends and relatives with unwanted e-mails. However you want to use it, the article and accompanying graphics below are yours for the taking. Because we care. Enjoy!

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“Monday” Madness — January 16, 2018

Tim and Scott may not be able to turn water into wine, but one of the great advantages of being Supreme is the ability to change Tuesday into Monday. Because yesterday was a holiday (celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr., prophet and sometime Lent Madness competitor), Tim and Scott are releasing Monday Madness on Tuesday.

Yes, folks, we are entering Lent Madness high season. Ash Thursday is February 15! Which means you can now look forward to weekly videos to put you in the Lenten mood and prepare for the Madness that is to come.

We suggest you dim the purple lights and head over to the bracket page of the website to find out who’s in this year’s competition and when they are competing. You can study the saints on Wikipedia, in your public library, or by wandering through European cathedrals. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t also tell you about the fabulous Saintly Scorecard. It’s a steal at just three bucks. You can buy them in bulk for $2 each, and if you buy 30 or more copies, they’re just a dollar each (sold in sets of 10). The scorecard is also available for your favorite e-reader (Kindle, Nook, and iBooks).

You can also either print your own personal bracket or buy a giant bracket poster.

Whatever you do, make sure you’re getting ready for Lent Madness!

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Monthly Madness: Advent (Mini-Lent) Edition

This is the season of waiting and preparation. We are preparing our brackets for Lent Madness 2018 and waiting for Lenty Claus to come bring us wonderful Lenten gifts. In this month’s video episode, Tim and Scott talk about the most sought-after gifts of the season.

Yes, that’s right. You’ll get inside information on this year’s edition of the Saintly Scorecard (buy singles for $3, or buy in bulk for as low as $1 each!) and Giant Bracket Poster (buy one for just $11). Just how many Saintly Scorecards can be stuffed into a purple stocking? This is the year to find out!

If you’re sick of hearing Christmas music at the mall, we suggest going out for a nice meal of locusts and wild honey while you listen to monks chanting Advent calls to repentance. Or, if that doesn’t sound like fun, order a pizza and binge-watch back episodes of Tim and Scott and their award-(as far as you know)-winning videos.

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All Brackets’ Day has Arrived!

Ever since Florence Nightingale was crowned with the 2017 Golden Halo, the anticipation over the 2018 Lent Madness bracket has been nearly unquenchable. Nominationtide produced a flurry of saintly suggestions from all over the the globe which were narrowed down at the Supreme Executive Committee’s secretive spring retreat.

Following last week’s bracket leak at the nefarious hands of the international hacking organization LentiLeaks, tensions were running high as the SEC prepared to release the official bracket. Fortunately increased cyber security prevented further leaks and we have arrived at All Brackets’ Day with the bracket — and the integrity of Lent Madness — intact.

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BREAKING NEWS: 2018 Bracket Leaked!

In a disconcerting turn of events, the Supreme Executive Committee has confirmed that a portion of the 2018 Lent Madness bracket has been illegally leaked online. The hack into the Lent Madness system comes just ahead of All Brackets’ Day on November 3rd, when the entire bracket of 32 saints will be officially released to the public.

“We’re pretty sure it was the work of the international hacking organization LentiLeaks,” said Lent Madness founder Tim Schenck.

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Lent Madness Play-In Round at EYE!

For most people, “Oklahoma” evokes images of cowboys, surreys with fringes on top, and perhaps Sooners. The Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness, however, are not most people. Mix in 1,000 teenagers and 100 degree weather and the SEC sees nothing but Lent!

That’s right, Tim and Scott are in Oklahoma City for the Episcopal Church’s triennial Episcopal Youth Event and they are busy spreading Lenten joy wherever they go. “Oh, what a beautiful morning,” indeed. But handing out hundreds of Golden Halo Flying Discs and taking selfies with throngs of young Lent Madness fans is a mere precursor to the main event: a play-in match to determine the first saint to make it into the 2018 Lent Madness bracket.

The young people here at EYE will soon be casting what will likely be the most important vote of their lives as they help shape next year’s Saintly Smackdown. On Thursday at lunch they will decide between two “badass saints” — Longinus and Quiteria. According to the Internet, these two saints are the most truly badass saints in Christian history. Who are these two saintly souls? Tim and Scott explain in a video that will be shown on the big screen to the 1,400 youth and adults here in Oklahoma. Check it out!

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Monthly Madness — Spring Retreat Edition

The Supreme Executive Committee has just concluded its annual spring retreat. After hours and hours of hard work — interspersed with flipcharts and breakout sessions — Tim and Scott have arrived at the list of saints for the 2018 bracket. Stay tuned (until November 3, All Brackets’ Day) for the results. They did take a little time out to record a video update from the SEC yacht, the S.S. Penitence.

Don’t forget to visit the Lentorium, and you might like to buy a 2017 Golden Halo Winner Florence Nightingale mug for yourself and all your friends.

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Nominationtide Is Here!

In the fullness of time, the Supreme Executive Committee rests from its Lenten labors and begins accepting nominations for Lent Madness 2018.

In other words…

Welcome to Nominationtide!

For one full week, Tim and Scott will be accepting nominations for Lent Madness 2018. The nominating period will remain open through the evening of Monday, May 22. At which point the window will unceremoniously slam shut.

Please note that the ONLY way to nominate a saint is to leave a comment in this post. Nominations will not be accepted via social media, e-mail, carrier pigeon, brick through a window at Forward Movement headquarters, singing telegram, sky writer, or giant billboard along I-95. Also, at least officially, bribes are discouraged.

As you discern saints to nominate, please keep in mind that a number of saints are ineligible for next year’s “saintly smackdown.” This includes the entire field of Lent Madness 2017, those saints who made it to the Round of the Elate Eight in 2016 and 2015, and those from the 2014 Faithful Four. Needless to say Jesus, Mary, Tim, Scott, and previous Golden Halo Winners are also ineligible. Below is a comprehensive list of ineligible saints. Please keep this in mind as you submit your nominations.

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Florence Nightingale Wins 2017 Golden Halo!

The Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness heartily congratulates Florence Nightingale on winning the 2017 Golden Halo!

To celebrate this momentous victory, the SEC has commissioned Lent Madness hymn writer extraordinaire, Sister Diana Doncaster, to pen a hymn for the occasion. Enjoy!

Ode to Flo
Tune: Hymn to Joy, Hymnal ‘82, 376, Joyful, Joyful we Adore Thee

Joyful are the ones who voted for our Florence Nightingale.
Joyful more the ones whose lives and health she guarded without fail.
Joyful are the ones who’ve followed in her noble nursing ways.
Joyful we who still are learning how to live strong in our faith.

Florence won the Golden Halo long before Lent Madness came.
Faithful to her call to service, faithful to Christ’s healing grace.
Longed to serve the church, but sent home, went forth into battle’s roar.
So we offer God our praises for such saints who’ve gone before.

Let us join the happy chorus which Lent Madness has inspired,
With the saints who’ve taught us well that lived love is all God requires.
None are perfect, all have struggled, all have learned the ways of Grace.
May we fumble in their footsteps, ‘til we meet Christ face to Face.

What’s nearly as important as announcing the Golden Halo winner? Sharing the Lentorium link to the winner’s swag! Click here to pre-order your very own Florence Nightingale 2017 Golden Halo Winner mug (stethoscope sold separately).

Blessings to all as we head into the Triduum and enter into the death and resurrection of our Lord. It’s been a privilege to have you join us on our Lenten pilgrimage!

 

For the Golden Halo: Franz Jägerstätter vs. Florence Nightingale

It’s hard to believe our Lent Madness journey is nearing its inevitable end. We kicked things off over five weeks ago on “Ash Thursday” with 32 saintly souls. With your help, the field has now been whittled down to just two: Franz Jägerstätter and Florence Nightingale. Who will be awarded the coveted 2017 Golden Halo? That, friends, is up to you.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome, we’ve met some truly remarkable holy people along the way. Perhaps you learned about some folks you’d never heard of or maybe you renewed acquaintances with saints who have long offered inspiration. Of course the entire notion of placing saints in a bracket is absurd — each “contestant” has already earned a crown of righteousness in addition to a “golden halo.” But at the heart of Lent Madness is the abiding conviction that encountering those who have come before us in the faith enriches and enlivens our own walk with the risen Christ.

In the process of this whimsical Lenten devotion we’ve all made some new online friends, encountered a community of believers who take their faith but not themselves too seriously, learned some things, were inspired by saintly witnesses, and hopefully had some fun along the way.

Of course we literally couldn’t have done this without our amazing Celebrity Bloggers to whom we offer sincere gratitude: Amber Belldene, Laurie Brock, Megan Castellan, Anna Courie, David Creech, Neva Rae Fox, David Hansen, Beth Lewis, Hugo Olais, Derek Olsen, and David Sibley. Thanks to Bracket Czar Adam Thomas for his stellar behind-the-scenes work in keeping the bracket updated daily. You all rock!

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