We began this Lent Madness journey over five weeks ago on "Ash Thursday." We started with 32 saints and have now whittled the field down to two: Mary Magdalene and Emma of Hawaii (who staged a wild comeback against Dietrich Bonhoeffer yesterday).
Along the way we've met some truly remarkable holy women and men. 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 Lent need not be gloomy or depressing. After all, what could be more joyful than a season specifically devoted to being drawn into deeper relationship with the risen Christ?
In the process of this whimsical Lenten devotion we have 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 had a lot fun along the way.
We literally couldn't have done this without our "Celebrity Bloggers" to whom we offer sincere gratitude. Dr. Meredith Gould, the Rev. Penny Nash, the Rev. Bosco Peters, Canon Heidi Shott, the Rev. (Bracket Czar) Adam Thomas, the Rev. Laura Toepfer, the Rev. Neil Alan Willard, and the Rev. Chris Yaw -- you guys rock!
Finally, thanks to all who have participated in this devotional journey. We've loved having each one of you along for the "madness" and on behalf of the Supreme Executive Committee we wish you a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter.
Oh, wait, there's one more thing before we set our face toward the Triduum. Cast your vote for either Mary Magdalen or Emma of Hawaii -- the 2012 Golden Halo hangs in the balance! The polls will be open for 24 hours and the winner will be announced at 8:00 am Eastern time on Maundy Thursday.
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!"
Excerpts from a lament by the Pacific Commercial Advertiser upon Queen Emma’s death in 1885.
Auwe! Auwe! The bitter wail resounds,
From far Kauai to bold Hawaii’s shore;
The people’s grief and sorry know no bounds,
For their loved Ema-lani is no more.
---Auwe! Auwe! The mourning nation cries;
Auwe! Auwe! She does not heed its grief;
Auwe! No more she wipes the weeping eyes,
No more she gives the sick and poor relief.
The King and lowliest native equal share
The common grief, for each has lost a friend,
And closer draws the bond of sympathy -
The throne and hut unite their tears to blend.
And not alone Hawaiians grieving cry,
The Haoles join in universal moan;
America extends her sympathy,
And England’s Queen will mourn a sister gone..
Kaleleonalani is not dead!
She sleeps on earth, but wakes in Paradise;
Rejoince we then and lift the drooping head,
She is but veiled from our mortal eyes.
NOTE: At 4:13 p.m. EDT, the Supreme Executive Committee removed 120 votes for Emma, based on heavy repeating voting from a single location. We are glad you are enthused about your saints, but please vote only once!
Mary Magdalene vs. Emma of Hawaii
Total Voters: 2,950