Lent Madness 2017 Bracket Released!

Lent Madness 2017 bracketIt’s the day America and the world have been waiting for! Months of speculation by media talking heads, countless polls, rallies all over the place, and the specter of serious competition have all led to this: the unveiling of the 2017 Lent Madness bracket.

Tim and Scott met months ago to discern the bracket. Then the Celebrity Bloggers worked on their biographies for the first round. The Foodie-in-Residence cooked up some new recipes. And the Bracket Czar has been creating a bracket poster suitable for framing or perhaps even veneration.

Sure, you might wonder why we’re going on about Lent when Lent Madness isn’t for another 118 days (not that we’re counting, the online counter does that for us). As Tim says, “Hey, if people can drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes in August, they can surely deal with Lent in November. Plus it’s either getting jazzed about saints, or dealing with a bunch of depressing politics. So you’re welcome for the gift of frenzied speculation and anticipation as we look toward the season of Lent (Madness).”

Meanwhile Scott contrasts the political news cycle with the sanctoral news cycle. “While the news has been full of sinners, well, sinning, in Lent Madness we get to look at God’s grace working in the lives of, um, sinners. Like us.”

Speaking of the news cycle, don’t forget to watch the SEC’s brand-new episode of Monthly Madness, with exclusive tidbits of Lent Madness news!

This year Lent Madness features an intriguing slate of saints ancient and modern, Biblical and ecclesiastical. 2017 heavyweights include Joan of Arc, Martin Luther, Florence Nightingale, Stephen the Martyr, and Sarah the Matriarch. It also includes several notable matchups including Augustine of Hippo vs. Augustine of Canterbury (All-Augustine Anarchy); Fanny Crosby vs. G.F. Handel (Battle of the Bands); and Joseph Schereschewsky vs. Nikolaus von Zinzendorf (Clash of the Consonants).

The Saintly Scorecard has been updated for the new season with great biographies, fresh recipes, and a new round of Pocket Lent trading cards. Pricing continues to be $1 each if you order 30 or more. This year, you can buy single copies ($3 each) or packs of ten. The bargain kicks in when you buy three or more bundles of ten, since they’re just $10 for ten scorecards! At that price, buy a few hundred and plan to sell them on eBay later for millions! Bracket posters are scandalously inexpensive at only $11 for one, or $10 when you buy two or more.

So head over to the Lentorium right now! Stock up on mugs and such. And order Saintly Scorecards and bracket posters so you can prepare for the Lent Madness season. Bracket posters will arrive in time for Christmas (can you imagine a better stocking stuffer?) and the scorecards will ship in early January, in plenty of time for Lent.

47 Comments to "Lent Madness 2017 Bracket Released!"

  1. Mary Lysbeth Andrews's Gravatar Mary Lysbeth Andrews
    November 3, 2016 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    WOW ! Only 119 to Lent can not wait, thanks for letting us know it is in the PIPE LINE !

  2. linda's Gravatar linda
    November 3, 2016 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    so Theodore the Studite-say what?-is on the bracket, but still no Mr. Rogers…..

  3. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    November 3, 2016 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Blessed assurance!
    No talking Lent before Christmas!

  4. Isabel Stanley's Gravatar Isabel Stanley
    November 3, 2016 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Why so few women?

    • November 3, 2016 - 8:40 am | Permalink

      The 2017 bracket is 25% women, which is about the same as the last couple of years. This is a higher percentage of women than nearly all official calendars of saints. We’d like to add more, but we’re limited to the available commemorations of churches. So if you want to see more women here, get busy having more women added to official sanctoral calendars! We do try to balance the calendar in terms of race, lay/ordained, sex, and so forth.

      • Nancy Usher Williams's Gravatar Nancy Usher Williams
        November 3, 2016 - 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Scott, I suspect the SEC actually strives to balance the bracket in terms of gender rather than in terms of sex.

        • November 3, 2016 - 7:02 pm | Permalink


          Thanks for your note. I was taught back in the day, in feminist theory courses, that gender is the social construct of sexual difference, so gender is a spectrum. (That’s why it’s funny, in my opinion, to talk about same-gender weddings, since it’s rare for two people to be at the same place on the gender spectrum.) Of course, what with Joan of Arc (and perhaps others), we have a variety of gender identities and expressions, for sure.

          When I asked a leading campaigner for marriage equality (which I fully support) about the intellectual reasons for using the term same-gender instead of same-sex, she said something very much like, “Yes, same-sex is more accurate, but we avoid the term because that word ‘sex’ makes some people squeamish, so we say ‘gender’ because we want to focus the campaign on the goal, not the words.”

          My point with all this is that there are a variety of points of view on not only gender & sexuality, but on the use of those terms. We’re using them a certain way, and I understand that others might not agree. But the SEC is listening carefully, since the language landscape is always changing. Either way, regardless of the (admittedly important!) semantic words, I do hope you’ll see that we strive to have a diverse, balanced bracket. The Lent Madness bracket is 31% female (just re-counted), whereas HWHM is about 19% female. So we have further to go, I agree, but we’re on the way.

          Again, thanks for your comment.

  5. Cathy's Gravatar Cathy
    November 3, 2016 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    Now that Bonhoeffer has won the Golden Crown, I can play for fun!

    • Joe Stroud's Gravatar Joe Stroud
      November 4, 2016 - 10:18 am | Permalink

      What Cathy said!

  6. Michelle C's Gravatar Michelle C
    November 3, 2016 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait. Thanks for the morning laughs.

  7. Kim Rossi's Gravatar Kim Rossi
    November 3, 2016 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Who says the Episcopal Church isn’t a lot of fun. Can’t wait until Sunday to let the Congregation of St. Stephen’s Church in Olean, NY know that St. Stephen made it to the brackets this year. We may start campaigning asap – perhaps even ordering our own campaign (purple) t-shirts. We can kick off our campaign this Sunday as we have our “All Saints” worship service. We are so excited, there may be standing room only this Sunday at St. Stephens Church. WOW, if only we could put a few emojis right here!!

    • Florence Krejci's Gravatar Florence Krejci
      November 3, 2016 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s likely St. Stephen’s Santa Clarita (Diocese of Los Angeles) will probably join in the fun, though our t-shirts (we already have them) are red, St. Stephen having been martyred. Since I think someone said he is on the first day, against Alban, we will need to be ready as soon as voting starts–no dallying around waiting for everyone to get with the Madness!

      • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
        November 10, 2016 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Flo, you are right! Stephen for the win!

  8. Matthew Estes's Gravatar Matthew Estes
    November 3, 2016 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Release of Lent Calendar has been the most important new of the day. Cubs winning the world series, something I never thought would happen in my lifetime, was yesterday. My email was full this morning of east coast people already trying to lobby us West coast people on which saints to vote. The number of emails/texts I get is more than I have gotten as a delegate to the National Church convention. Its going to take weeks to read through an unpack this madness.

  9. November 3, 2016 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    Holy Cow!!! Thank God we Lent Madness fanatics only had to wait a couple months for the bracket to come out instead of 108 years! Thank you!

  10. Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
    November 3, 2016 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    The Cubs have won and the Bracket is released! God showers us with earthly and heavenly blessings!

  11. Bridget's Gravatar Bridget
    November 3, 2016 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Stephen v Alban on the first day! Us english will have to hit the road running for the first English martyr . Many of us think he should be our patron saint. Instead of that myth George.

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      November 4, 2016 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Some of us vote for St. Edmund to return as patron saint of England!

  12. Bee Jay's Gravatar Bee Jay
    November 3, 2016 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Being an Indians fan, I am delighted to have something to cheer for!
    Can’t wait to vote for the right Augustine.

  13. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    November 3, 2016 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    I am especially thrilled to see St. Elizabeth Seton included in this year’s Lent Madness. I live in Madison, NJ, the town next to Convent Station, home of St. Elizabeth’s College, run by the order founded by the blessed St. Elizabeth. I have followed her progress into sainthood from the respectful distance appropriate for a United Methodist clergywoman.

  14. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    November 3, 2016 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    At last!

  15. Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
    November 3, 2016 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Time to mobilize choir members everywhere to get Cecilia that Golden Halo.

    • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
      November 3, 2016 - 10:15 am | Permalink

      Amen, brother!

      • andrea's Gravatar andrea
        November 3, 2016 - 10:10 pm | Permalink

        Amen again.

  16. Mary Howell's Gravatar Mary Howell
    November 3, 2016 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    You guys always make me laugh out loud! Keep up the good work!

  17. Sally from Dallas's Gravatar Sally from Dallas
    November 3, 2016 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    This is the best news to hit my email account this morning! After months of political madness (!), finally God has rescued us Episcopalians! Thank you, thank you, SEC!

  18. Lynne Gonzales's Gravatar Lynne Gonzales
    November 3, 2016 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaay too early for this…could we celebrate Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Epiphany before you put this out????

    This is as bad as stores opening on Thanksgiving and selling Christmas merchandise starting on Labor Day.

    Let us celebrate each season in its turn.

    • November 3, 2016 - 11:16 am | Permalink


      • linda's Gravatar linda
        November 3, 2016 - 10:14 pm | Permalink


    • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
      November 3, 2016 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

      It is most seemly that we celebrate All Brackets Day immediately after All Saints and All Souls. Lent Madness is about the Saints, after all.

    • Bee Jay's Gravatar Bee Jay
      November 4, 2016 - 6:37 pm | Permalink

      But. But. But.
      These are SAINTS. So announcing them at All Saints IS totally appropriate.

  19. Em's Gravatar Em
    November 3, 2016 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    I’d never heard of Raymond Nonnatus until “Call the Midwife.” Did that connection have anything to do with his hitting your SEC radar? In any case, looking forward to learning more about him.

  20. Harriet's Gravatar Harriet
    November 3, 2016 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    So glad we are getting charged up for another superb Lent! It gets me through the long winter/spring months!

  21. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    November 3, 2016 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    I think I saw a couple of names I remember from Lent Madnesses in the recent past (I’ve only been playing since 2013), Moses the Black and Joseph Schereschewsky are names that jumped out at me.

    Please remind me–and possibly other readers–of the rules for being “candidates” for Lent Madness.

    Happy All Brackets’ Day!

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      November 10, 2016 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Golden Halo winners: permanently banned from future Lent Madness play since they have won already.
      Ineligible in 2017: The entire field of Lent Madness 2016, those saints who made it to the Round of the Elate Eight in 2015 and 2014, and those from the 2013 Faithful Four.

      So anyone who got knocked out in the first or second round in 2015 or 2014 could show up again. All but four of 2013’s candidates are eligible again for 2017. For the 2012 and earlier brackets, anyone except the Golden Halo winner is eligible for rematch.

  22. Barbara Bley's Gravatar Barbara Bley
    November 3, 2016 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    It’s nice to see your not failing in your attempt at putting the cart before the horse by simulating true capitalism (putting out Christmas before Halloween) in putting out Lenten rituals before we even have Advent!

    • November 3, 2016 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

      We’ll take that as a compliment. Thank you. Also, we address this in our video.

  23. Jean Halajian's Gravatar Jean Halajian
    November 3, 2016 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for including Count Zinzendorf. If the Moravian Church had saints, he would be one! Along with Jan Hus.

  24. November 3, 2016 - 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky! Already know who I’ll be rooting for. What an amazing, inspiring man.

  25. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    November 3, 2016 - 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Happy All Brackets’ Day! Fanny Crosby vs. G.F. Handel- I am looking forward to the Battle of the Bands! Enjoyed the Joan of Arc comment in the All Brackets’ Day Edition of Monthly Madness. Thanks SEC!

  26. November 4, 2016 - 12:32 am | Permalink

    Hurrah for Lent Madness and the SEC barreling into my inbox like the blast of a trumpet! This year’s bracket appears to be deliciously rife once again with challenging choices, mystifying matchups, and perplexing pronunciations, and that’s just in Week One. Thanks for reminding me there’s life after November, and for keeping the lights on in the Lentorium after midnight.

  27. November 4, 2016 - 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Harlie. All Brackets should be released immediately after All Saints and All Souls day. After all, Most churches are celebrating All Saints Day this Sunday. Advent doesn’t start for 4 more weeks and Thanksgiving has never enjoyed much advance press anyway.

  28. Junior Abraham's Gravatar Junior Abraham
    November 4, 2016 - 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m so excited about getting my new bracket! It printed find in InternetExplorer, but not so well in Chrome. Is this something the Czar can “fix”?

  29. Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
    November 4, 2016 - 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, SEC, for brightening this autumn news cycle. And praise to the SEC for including Florence Nightingale this year…we nurses approve!!

  30. aleathia nicholson's Gravatar aleathia nicholson
    November 5, 2016 - 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Happy days are here again! No more needs to be said!

  31. Tom's Gravatar Tom
    November 8, 2016 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    I love Lent Madness. (I really, really do!) But I can’t wrap my head around the repeat saints I see in the bracket when Thurgood Marshall still (!) has yet to make a Lent Madness appearance. What gives, SEC?

  32. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    November 10, 2016 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m calling it for Martin Luther. You read it here first.

Comments are closed.