As Ash Wednesday morphs into Lent Madness Eve, the stage is set for the start of the 2015 edition of “The World’s Most Popular Online Lenten Devotion”®. Tomorrow’s opening match-up between Gregory the Illuminator and Brendan the Navigator will go live at precisely 8:00 am Eastern Standard Time. Read about both saints and then vote (once!).
If you’re new to Lent Madness you may want to participate by leaving a comment — many people do and it’s fascinating to learn why people vote the way they do, how a particular saint has touched them or why they identify with or connect with a certain person or story. Sure, sometimes you might vote for a saint just because you like her name but often the reasons run much deeper. In a very tangible way, this is how the Lent Madness community is formed and it’s fun to check back throughout the day to see what people have posted.
Now, we know that all over the world, people are marking Lent Madness Eve. According to news reports, thousands have gathered in Times Square to watch the Halo drop. Others are popping non-alcoholic beverages and refraining from consuming chocolate.
We thought we’d offer a few suggestions for making your Lent Madness Eve both meaningful and safe. Here is a top ten list of activities to engage in as you keep vigil until 8:00 am EST.
1. Wipe the ashes off your forehead (if you’re a member of the clergy, scrub your thumb).
2. Compose lyrics to a new song to which no one actually knows all the words: Auld Lang Halo.
4. Break into the parish office to redo the bracket you initially filled out and submitted, because you’re having second thoughts about your picks.
5. Eat anything but pancakes.
6. Call your mother to wish her a Happy Lent Madness Eve.
7. Dress up as your favorite saint and then go out to the drugstore to buy cold medicine for your sick kid.
8. Wallpaper your powder room with poster-sized brackets.
9. Cyber stalk one of the Celebrity Bloggers.
10. Become your own personal Lent Madness noisemaker by yelling “saint, saint, saint!” at everyone you encounter.
Try to get some sleep. It’s going to be a big day tomorrow. At least with an Illuminator and a Navigator duking it out, you won’t have to worry about being lost in the dark.