How to manage long-term Lent Madness Withdrawal

Many Lent Madness fans have beseeched the Supreme Executive Committee for ways to survive the long duration until Lent Madness 2013. By the way, Lent Madness 2013 begins on February 14, 2013, and you can check the countdown clock any time on Anyway, in their mercy, the SEC has compiled a list of suggestions for those of you wondering how you’ll last until next year’s Ash Thursday.

We’re also starting a support group called Lenten Seasonal Affective Disorder, or LSAD. Never before have so many lamented the end of Lent. We’ve heard reports that in at least one parish, a distraught Lent Madness participant tackled the Celebrant at the Easter Vigil just before she proclaimed the Easter Acclamation. And the managers of several fine hotels along Waikiki Beach have complained about finding several defaced copies of the requisite Gideon’s Bibles. It seems that several guests have crossed out verses referring to “40 days and 40 nights” and have inserted the word “endless.”

Top Ten Ways to Combat Long-Term LMW

1. Study the lives of more saints. Not only will you learn more about ways God’s grace can work through any of us, but you’ll have a leg up on next year’s bracket.
2. It’s never too soon to start organizing Lent Madness 2013 parties (dress up as your favorite saint) and bracket betting pools. Just make sure you are giving the proceeds to charity, as we do not condone gambling. Sure, St. Matthias was chosen by lots in the Book of Acts but that doesn’t mean you should call your bookie to get lines on Lent Madness.
3. Start something fun and educational in your own congregation. Freely steal promotional ideas from Lent Madness, such as weekly videos or “Brackets to Go.” We probably won’t sue you.
4. If you enjoyed the humor of Lent Madness, follow Tim’s blog. He’s also on Twitter and Facebook.
5. If you enjoyed Lent Madness humor, but want the slightly less filtered version, follow Scott’s blog. He’s also on Twitter and Facebook.
6. Identify holy people who have not made it onto the calendar of the Episcopal Church, which would make them eligible for inclusion in Lent Madness. Lobby your bishop and General Convention deputies to push for calendar reform. If John Muir can make it into Holy Women, Holy Men, then our calendar could certainly hold a few prominent athletes who would kick some saintly rear in Lent Madness.
7. Think of more ways Forward Movement can support humor and fresh ways to nurture spiritual practices. Let Scott know. Or if you have suggestions for what to do with a two-room rector’s office suite, let Tim know about those (he could really use a fireplace).
8. Invite Tim and Scott to come speak to your congregation or diocese. Seriously. They’ll talk about how the church can grow when we take ourselves less seriously while taking Jesus more seriously. Just make sure there two two green rooms separated by great distance, as they have resumed their archrivalry.
9. Find some other places with great humor on the Internet.
10. Stop by Lent Madness and say hello now and then. We’ll post something every few weeks to keep the Lenten fires going. Look for saint- or kitsch-related news. And you can be the first to know about Lent Madness 2013.

Finally, if you have suggestions for the bracket of Lent Madness 2013, contact the Supreme Executive Committee soon. They will be meeting in an undisclosed location to begin deliberations. Make sure you review this year’s bracket, as well as the brackets for Lent Madness 2010 and Lent Madness 2011. The only saints who make repeat appearances are those who did not make it past the first round. Unless the SEC grants a special dispensation.

34 Comments to "How to manage long-term Lent Madness Withdrawal"

  1. Susan Allen's Gravatar Susan Allen
    April 9, 2012 - 10:00 pm | Permalink

    So Lent Madness really can go all year long! Be sure to post a video every once in a while – that is if your archnemesisness will allow.

  2. April 9, 2012 - 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Let the Saints come to your newsfeed! At the Forward Movement Facebook and Twitter pages, we post the Saint of the Day with links to biographical information and appointed Bible readings. Preparing for Lent Madness 2013 just got LOTS easier.

  3. Cate's Gravatar Cate
    April 9, 2012 - 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Looking for a way to fill your time? I’d like to put in a shameless pitch for our rector search in the heart of Silicon Valley. We could use some candidates with a good sense of Lent Madness humor 🙂

    • Madeleine Borthwick's Gravatar Madeleine Borthwick
      April 10, 2012 - 7:00 pm | Permalink

      sorry cate, i wish we could help you but here at st. andrew’s in ann arbor michigan, we have the Best Rector In The World, Alan gibson is truly a blessing and we ain’t giving him up without a fight(CAN YOU HEAR ME, BISHOP GIBBS?!?!). Good luck in your search.

  4. Anne Wrider's Gravatar Anne Wrider
    April 9, 2012 - 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the SEC could do a little trivia contest from time to time to help us through the wilderness of time until Lent starts again??

  5. Katherine Schroeder's Gravatar Katherine Schroeder
    April 10, 2012 - 1:32 am | Permalink

    I’m thinking World Series. Isn’t there some way the Supreme Executives (or Diana Ross and the Executive Supremes) could work that sports tradition into something holy? It would tide us over… 🙁

    • Tom Van Brunt's Gravatar Tom Van Brunt
      April 10, 2012 - 6:21 am | Permalink

      And there should be a St. Abner even if he didn’t really invent the game!

      • Katherine Schroeder's Gravatar Katherine Schroeder
        April 10, 2012 - 10:42 am | Permalink


  6. Fr. Michael Forshaw's Gravatar Fr. Michael Forshaw
    April 10, 2012 - 2:19 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed Lent Madness and wish it would continue.

    Perhaps we could have a GREAT 50 DAYS MADNESS OR if that isn’t possible how about an ordinary time madness. Not everyday, but once a week. There are lots of saints in the calendar!

  7. Fr. Michael Forshaw's Gravatar Fr. Michael Forshaw
    April 10, 2012 - 2:20 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed Lent Madness and wish it would continue.

    Perhaps we could have a GREAT 50 DAYS MADNESS OR if that isn’t possible how about an ordinary time madness. Not everyday, but once a week. There are lots of saints in the calendar!
    I have not said this before

  8. Tom Van Brunt's Gravatar Tom Van Brunt
    April 10, 2012 - 6:20 am | Permalink

    For 2013. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, because I have been to both his tiny isle just off Lindisfarne and his cave inland.
    Alban, because my first parish was St. Alban of Morehead, Kentucky. O please include them next year.

  9. April 10, 2012 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    For 2013: St. Gertrude (the patron saint of cats, among other things!), St. George, and Harriet Tubman.

    • Madeleine Borthwick's Gravatar Madeleine Borthwick
      April 10, 2012 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

      hello sister, thanks for the input! I didn’t know that St. Gertrude was the patron saint of cats, I will be sure to inform our 2 kitties Esther and Naomi of this. I now know who to invoke for and in behalf of said kitties.

      • Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
        April 10, 2012 - 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes, and also the patron of those who love cats and of herbalists. . .she even has a blog! We do celebrate St. Gertrude’s Day at Sanctuary House, but in all honesty, she is saint perfect for Lent Madness!! . . . maybe we cat lovers could form a voting bloc!

        • Madeleine Borthwick's Gravatar Madeleine Borthwick
          April 11, 2012 - 9:11 am | Permalink

          Sister, this is a good idea! even the cats approve…..and they usually don’t take much of an interest in anything beyond whether there’s food in their bowls, clean litter boxes, grooming, etc.

          • Tarheel's Gravatar Tarheel
            April 11, 2012 - 2:50 pm | Permalink

            Count me and The Fluff in on the cat voting bloc for St. Gertrude. We will be glad to help ensure St. Gertrude makes a run for the Golden Halo.

  10. Nancy Baillie Strong's Gravatar Nancy Baillie Strong
    April 10, 2012 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Samuel Isaac Joseph Scherechewsky and Henry Martyn are two of my faves — patron saints of linguists and overachievers everywhere!

  11. Gary Goldacker's Gravatar Gary Goldacker
    April 10, 2012 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    Could find room in “Holy Women, Holy Men” for Ted Williams, all time best batting average in Majors; no, wait, he’s not dead, just frozen!

  12. April 10, 2012 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    St. Gertrude of Nivelles, I mean . . .

  13. April 10, 2012 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    I miss not having Lent Madness to look forward to each week. However , I am reading ” Lives of the Saints” by Richard P. McBrien, so I’ll more prepared for next year. Thanks so much for Lent Madness !

  14. Joyce Wills's Gravatar Joyce Wills
    April 10, 2012 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    Madness Withdrawal is a sign that we are looking for a way to connect spiritually. We looked forward with great eagerness to your posts, and now we miss them and the connections we had with them and with each other. Surely there is a marketing tool here…not to earn money but to connect us to God and to each other with a deep sense of spirituality and humor.

  15. April 10, 2012 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Cate, while I’m not “in the market” for a new call, I will admit that I’ve always fantasized about serving at a St. Timothy’s. Only so I can answer the phone “St. Tim’s — Tim speaking.”

    • Madeleine Borthwick's Gravatar Madeleine Borthwick
      April 13, 2012 - 10:49 am | Permalink

      Hi Tim,
      I can appreciate your fantasy, but isn’t it usually the secretary who answers the phone?
      Madeleine Borthwick

  16. Jim's Gravatar Jim
    April 10, 2012 - 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Lent Madness has ended and I finished around mid-pack in the parish contest. The people have spoken but I still feel badly for Augustine, the apostles and Celts in general as they did not fare well this year.

    I consulted one of my barristers from the legendary legal firm of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe to see if there is any possible legal recourse. They examined Lent Madness as well as the SEC and reported back “forget it”. In their opinion Lent Madness is sheer madness and taking action against madness is madness. Regarding the SEC members Scott Gunn and Tim Schenck the results are no better. In their opinion Scott Gunn has a public persona that would charm a cat out of its milk. Tim Schenck is a trained paratrooper and you know what some people think about people who jump out of perfectly fine airplanes. They recommended trying to work within the system.

    Augustine of Hippo has become a bit like the Vermont Catamounts mens basketball team, good enough to make the show regularly but sent home before the water gets warm. Maybe he could be paired in the future with Ronald McDonald, or Saint Ronald as children munching happy meals think of him. The SEC could consider pairing an apostle against anybody who does not come from Hawaii and give him a shot at the Saintly Sixteen. The true celtic fans of Lent Madness do not want any more pseudo-celts like this year. Perhaps Saint Filan, the patron saint of skydivers, who should appeal to some of the SEC can make it in. If not Saint Filan then perhaps Drostan who has a holy well whose waters are used to make a particularly good single malt scotch whisky.

    Lent Madness is a lot of fun and I will continue to follow along and try to avoid joining an LSAD recovery group. I cannot wait though for next year’s contest.

    • Madeleine Borthwick's Gravatar Madeleine Borthwick
      April 10, 2012 - 7:09 pm | Permalink

      JIm…..Dewey, Cheatem and Howe? are you by any chance a fan of the equally legendary 3 Stooges? I don’t know about you but I think this movie remake of said stooges is an Abomination and they’re lucky I don’t picket the theaters! long live the REAL 3 stooges! woo-woo-woo!

  17. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    April 10, 2012 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

    As much as I will miss Lent Madness, I respect that this is an annual thing and a year-round or even bi-annual event would dilute its effectiveness and wonderfulness. Looking forward to Ash Thursday 2013.

    On a side note, I was shocked to see that Patrick lost to Constance in round one last year. It seems that Lent Madness has a history of breaking hearts. Still bitter about Thomas Merton and Catherine of Siena. I’ll take the year to recover.

  18. aleathia nicholson's Gravatar aleathia nicholson
    April 10, 2012 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

    The fact that the SEC Padres skirt the very edges of the system is the key to their success. Did anybody else come remotely close to creating LENT MADNESS? I don’t think so. Leave them alone and let them charm cats out of their milk…some are too fat, anyhow, and jumping out of whatever…at least he didn’t jump out of a birthday cake !!! Remember, it can always be worse. OK…2013 entries: Bishop John Walker-completed the National Cathedral construction; the Rev. Pauli Murray-clergywoman, lawyer, author. These two were “firsts” in many ways. The standing invitation to come to Nashville still stands, Padres, and some folk here had heard of LENT MADNESS, thank the powers that be. Bye, y’all…alla y’ least for now.

  19. Mary-Elise's Gravatar Mary-Elise
    April 10, 2012 - 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see St. Ignatius in next year’s match-up. It would be interesting to see if the Jesuits would form a voting bloc.

  20. Madeleine Borthwick's Gravatar Madeleine Borthwick
    April 10, 2012 - 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi there! I combat my own withdrawal symptoms by reading a delightful book called “Saints Preserve Us! Everything you want to know about every saint you’ll ever need.” the authors are: Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers. I heartily recommend this book to all of you. it’s informative, funny, in short everything we need during this difficult time.
    blessings, Madeleine
    ps: I STILL think Thomas Cranmer shoulda got the Golden Halo. oh well

  21. Madeleine Borthwick's Gravatar Madeleine Borthwick
    April 11, 2012 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Hmmmmm….maybe it’s the recovering addict in me(family history of alcoholism)but maybe we CAN continue this..maybe call it “Anglican Antics?”please try not to throw tomatoes at this suggestion before you think it through…..I can’t be the only one out there in cyberspace who feels this way…
    Madeleine Borthwick

  22. April 12, 2012 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    Suggestions for next year:
    Mother Theresa
    Henry Nouwen

  23. Madeleine Borthwick's Gravatar Madeleine Borthwick
    April 13, 2012 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    SUGGESTION FOR NEXT YEAR: St. Drogo. He was able to bi-locate, which gave rise to the flemish(?)saying “not being st. Drogo, I can’t be in two places at once. he is also the patron saint of unattractive people which I can definitely relate to but what the hey, it’s more important to be cool on the INSIDE.

  24. April 13, 2012 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

    More importantly, St. Drogo is the Patron Saint of Coffee!

    • Madeleine Borthwick's Gravatar Madeleine Borthwick
      April 15, 2012 - 3:45 pm | Permalink

      this is too good to be true. I didn’t know St. Drogo was the patron saint of coffee as well. I didn’t mind giving up the booze, the blotter acid, the odd-tasting mushrooms that make things feel weird but I WILL NOT give up caffeine. it’s one of my 2 remaining vices, the other being chocolate.
      Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, I will too,
      Madeleine Borthwick

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