Monday Madness — February 24, 2020

Gather the kids and the neighbors! It’s time for the last pre-season Monday Madness episode for Lent Madness 2020. Tim and Scott dole out last minute advice on preparing for Ash Thursday, the traditional start to the annual Saintly Smackdown. Lent Madness launches on February 27 with an epic battle between Thomas More and James the Less. It promises, more or less, to be the best Lent Madness opener ever!

Buying printed Lent Madness material is still possible at the Lentorium, but shipping costs could be high. The good news is that there’s no shipping on the Kindle version of the Saintly Scorecard. So make sure you have the definitive guide to Lent Madness loaded on your device. If you see Scott or Tim, they’ll be happy to autograph your iPad with a purple Sharpie.

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Signs of the Season

In parish halls and church entryways across the land, signs of the (Lent Madness) season are all around us. We thought we’d highlight a few displays from around the country that were shared with us via the Lent Madness Facebook page.

Wait, what’s that? You don’t follow Lent Madness on Facebook? We’re shocked! And it probably means you don’t follow the world’s most popular online Lenten devotion on Twitter either.

Whatever. It’s not like our entire self-worth is dependent upon how many followers we have on social media. Though if you DID like us on Facebook and join over 22,000 other Lent Madness fans, it would warm our hearts. Especially if, say, we got to 25,000 likes. But we digress.

Here are a few parishes preparing for Lent Madness in fine form. We encourage you to be inspired by their witness to the Madness. And then let us see your Lenten creativity! You could even message us a picture on Facebook. Or, if you’ve given up Facebook for Lent, take a photo and send it to us via carrier camel or something.

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2020 Celebrity Bloggers

Yes, the 32 saints in the 2020 Lent Madness bracket are the real stars of this penitential show. But we have a dozen Celebrity Bloggers scheduled to write this year and we’re pretty jazzed about them all! You can read their bios here.

Of the 12, nine are making return engagements, two are brand new, and one is returning to the fold after taking a year away from the Madness.

Our returning bloggers (aka gluttons for punishment) are Amber Belldene, Laurie Brock, Megan Castellan, Anna Fitch Courie, David Creech, David Hansen, Emily McFarlan Miller, Carol Howard Merritt, and David Sibley. If the names are familiar, it’s because they have wowed legions of Lent Madness fans over the years with their saintly descriptions, flowery prose, and the spiritual gift of procuring top-notch kitsch. Also, many of them have books which you should buy, in order to support their lavish lifestyles of the (spiritually) rich and (church) famous.

Another familiar name to longtime Lent Madness aficionados is Neva Rae Fox, who returns after taking a breather last year to recuperate from too much adulation.

We are especially pleased to welcome Miguel Escobar and Sandra Montes to the Lent Madness (somewhat dysfunctional) family. Here’s some information about our two newest Celebrity Bloggers:

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In an annual tradition, the (relatively) benevolent Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness, is taking a moment to bestow upon you, the Lent Madness public, a few free things.

Of course, participating in Lent Madness itself is completely free. I mean, it’s nice to have shiny giant bracket posters and Saintly Scorecards — these items make the Golden Halo shine even brighter and make glad the hearts of Tim and Scott. But you can download and print your own bracket, Google all the saints, and simply check in on this website each weekday of Lent to read what our fabulous Celebrity Bloggers have to say about them before casting your votes.

But pasted in below is a completely FREE newsletter article you’re welcome to use in your parish newsletter or print out and paste on your bathroom mirror for the duration of Lent. Also, feel free to use any of the accompanying graphics.

Like the ubiquitous Ginsu Knives, however, THAT’S NOT ALL! We also have ready-made bulletin inserts to print and use on the Sunday before Lent.

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Monday Madness — February 17, 2020

It’s a special Presidents’ Day edition of Monday Madness, in which Tim and Scott speculate on whether the long-clamored for Supremes’ Day will ever come to fruition — and wonder if it might be time for a Golden Halo Winners’ Mountain similar to Mt. Rushmore. Anyone with mountainous property and a hand chisel is encouraged to contact Lent Madness HQ.

But, of course, there’s much more saintly content packed into this compelling episode. Watch the entire show to learn how you, too, can become a Lent Madness evangelist at church, at home, and in the break room at work. Step one? Track Lent Madness on Facebook or Twitter.

This week’s episode also features a shout-out for the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas, Texas, where Lent Madness is all the rage. If your church has a Lent Madness display — or something else we can talk up — please let us know! Leave a comment here, or send a photo to the email address mentioned in the video. We’d love to make you famous on our Facebook or Twitter feeds.

You don’t have to spend any money to play Lent Madness. But if you want to load up, it’s not too late to get your very own giant bracket poster or Saintly Scorecard (single copy, bulk copies for savings, or ebook for your favorite Kindle device). Scorecards are as low as a buck each, and the bracket poster is only $10 if you buy two or more. Visit the Lentorium to see the full range of merchandise, including Golden Halo winner mugs. Call Forward Movement at 800-543-1813 during business hours, and a friendly person will help you figure out the best shipping option to make sure you get your stuff in time for Lent Madness.

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Monday Madness — February 10, 2020

This week, in the aftermath of the Oscars, join Tim and Scott on the purple carpet as the world prepares for Lent Madness 2020. Despite being snubbed (again!) for Best Lenten-Themed Movie, the Supreme Executive Committee reminds viewers that, contrary to appearances, Lent Madness is, like grace, FREE. They also answer viewer mail and recount the early days of Ye Olde Lent Madness. All that, and more, in this week’s episode of Monday Madness.

Today is the last day for you to order stuff from the Lentorium — or from our sponsors at Forward Movement — and pay the cheapest shipping rate with guaranteed Lenten delivery. So if you want to buy stuff, it’s time to get your very own giant bracket poster or Saintly Scorecard (single copy, bulk copies for savings, or ebook for your favorite Kindle device). Scorecards are as low as a buck each, and the bracket poster is only $10 if you buy two or more. Visit the Lentorium to see the full range of merchandise, including Golden Halo winner mugs.

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There’s more to Lent than brackets?!

If you’ve spent more than 15 seconds on this website, you’ll know that the Supreme Executive Committee loves nothing more than the endless and shameless promotion of Lent Madness. Tim and Scott think the Saintly Smackdown is a pretty great way to share the stories of how the love of Jesus has burned brightly in the hearts of saints new and ancient, lay and clergy, prophet and martyr, and so on.

We also know that many Lent Madness fans like to engage in this Lenten season in other ways. The custom of self-denial through giving up those things that distract us from God is a worthy practice. Lent invites us to spend time with the scriptures and in prayer. Lent calls us to look beyond ourselves, to focus on loving God and loving our neighbors.

It’s only three weeks until Ash Wednesday, so we thought now might be a good time to mention a few resources to take with you on your Lenten journey.

To that end, Forward Movement offers an array of Lenten resources. You can see the whole list online, but we wanted to highlight a few for Lent Madness fans.

A Spring in the Desert: Rediscovering the Water of Life in Lent by Frank and Victoria Logue
A Spring in the Desert coverJesus stepped out of the water of baptism into uninhabitable wilderness, emerging forty days later to offer the water of life for those thirsting for God’s presence. A little more than two centuries later, a group of Christians withdrew from a spiritually barren Roman Empire to find their faith blossom in the stony soil of the Egyptian desert.

Frank and Victoria Logue offer a Lenten journey inspired by the many passages of scripture that use images of water in the desert as a sign of the healing and wholeness that come through God alone. To this they add the distilled wisdom of the Desert Mothers and Fathers and the surprisingly rich inspiration of the plants and animals that thrive in an arid land. Along the way, they will share the ways our faith speaks to the barren places in our lives and how those times of drought can be a source of strength.

The paper book is available from Forward Movement (bulk discounts available) or from Amazon for your Kindle app or reader.

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Monday Madness — February 3, 2020

Well, friends, with the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, it’s time for another action-packed episode of Monday Madness! This week Tim and Scott toss viewers a Hail Mary by explaining why it’s okay to play Lent Madness during the somber season of Lent. They also answer a “viewer” question about how they make a living doing this (spoiler alert: they’re never retiring). And of course, there’s plenty of time for shameless promotion of the Lentorium.

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Monday Madness — First In-season Episode!

Lent Madness 2020 begins ONE MONTH FROM TODAY! As the excitement continues to build for Ash Thursday on February 27, we know that you, the Lent Madness global viewing public, have been staring at your screens for weeks wondering when the 2020 Monday Madness season opener would come your way. Wait no more! Tim and Scott are back at it with an action-packed episode recorded in a rare joint appearance at the Rooted in Jesus conference in Atlanta, GA.

In this week’s episode, learn about Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Michael Curry‘s bracket picks (we’re pretty sure his enthusiasm for Lent Madness is merely a ploy for a promotion from PB to Supreme Executive Committee).

Now, everybody knows Bishop Curry is friends with Harry and Meaghan (do yourself a favor and rewatch his royal wedding sermon here). And obviously, Lent Madness was the talk of Buckingham Palace during that heady time. In fact, our royal watchers tell us that the real reason these two (Way of) Love birds are leaving England is to get closer to the Saintly Smackdown. We’ll try to get them booked onto an upcoming episode of Monday Madness. Or maybe Her Majesty The Queen. When it comes to royalty, the SEC is uncharacteristically flexible.

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Monthly Madness — All Brackets’ Edition

Sure, the regular season of Monday Madness begins just after Christmas. Okay, just after Valentine’s Day. But it’s never too soon to anticipate the thrills and drama of the Lent Madness season that is to come. After all, there are only 114 days days left until Ash Thursday!

Fortunately, Tim and Scott have taken some time out of their busy pre-Lenten schedules, for a special broadcast of Monthly Madness. In this edition, they highlight a few key battles of the newly-unveiled Lent Madness 2020 bracket, rack their brains to recall the Lent Madness url, and generally engage in penitential tomfoolery. And as you’ll see, the opening battle of the upcoming 11th year of the Saintly Smackdown promises to be, more or less, one of the epic battles of all time.

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