Top Ten Lent Madness Pro Tips

Lent Madness 2015 is off to a great start. On opening day, Ash Thursday, we broke our previous record for page views and votes. Competition has been fierce, while the comments have been (mostly) gentle. That’s just how we like it. Because the SEC cares about you, the Lent Madness Global Viewing Public, we wanted to offer a few pro tips to maximize your enjoyment and learning from Lent Madness.

But first, if you haven’t yet voted in today’s match-up between Swithun and Molly Brant, vote right now.


10. Lobby celebrities for endorsements
Let’s face it. If you could get, say, Pope Francis to urge people to vote for your favorite saint, that would garner lots of votes. This is how to win — rally others to vote for your saint. If you can’t get the pope, try your neighbors, your priest, your local police chief, or your local news anchor. Here is Pope Francis showing his potential as a spokesperson, as he wears purple and possibly talks up his favorite saints.
Pope in Purple

9. Read up on the saints
If you were one of the lucky ones who scored a limited-edition Saintly Scorecard booklet, use it to read the bios and prayers for the saints. You can also get the Saintly Scorecard as an ebook. While the ebook doesn’t include a fold-out bracket, you can add a fold-out bracket to your Kindle for maximum enjoyment. Jennifer Roland offers the paragon of digital-analog Lent Madness fandom, with her e-reader adorned by a homemade fold-out bracket.
kindle with bracket

8. Vote one time only
Those who vote more than once are liable to be cast into the outer darkness of Lent Madness. We want free and fair match-ups. Voting 300 times because you really want your saint to win is going to get you banned, and that’s just no fun.

7. Make Lent Madness ubiquitous in your parish
St. Paul’s Church in Rochester, NY has placed not one, not two, not three, but FOUR giant bracket posters around the church to tally the results. The posters are all sold out, so you have a couple of choices. You can print out regular-sized brackets (for free!) and issue magnifying glasses so they look big. Or you can find a bracket poster and use a massive photocopier to duplicate the number you need.
St. Paul's Rochester, NY

6. Wear purple, all the time
You don’t need to wear a Lent Madness purple t-shirt to show your colors. Get it? Anyway, there are lots of ways to wear purple, so give all your clothes to goodwill and replace everything you own with purple.
purple clothes

5. Prepare for the kitsch round
Every year, we have to deal with Kitsch Kranks. These are (easily offended) people who linger for the Elate Eight and then get outraged that we showcase various bits of saintly kitsch for the competitors. How can you prepare? Go to your nearest church goods store and enjoy various statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary or other saints. Or visit a hip, youngish member of the clergy who is sure to have a good-sized kitsch display in his or her office.
jesus kitsch

4. Name your pet for a Golden Halo winner
This is George the Dog, who lives with one member of the SEC. Named for George Herbert, the first winner of the Golden Halo in 2010, this canine is crazy for Lent Madness. When he’s not on Twitter, George loves to try out Golden Halo Flying Disc toys. But since they’re designed for people to toss, they don’t last that long as chew toys for dogs. Anyway, the point is that you should consider renaming your dog George, Clive, Mary, Frances, or Charles.
George with Disc

3. Forget Downton Abbey or House of Cards; binge-watch Monday Madness
We have over three years of Monday Madness in the can. Head over to LentMadnessTV and watch every episode, and then go watch Maple Anglican’s oeuvre.
Monday Madness

2. Get the head of your church to be a fan
True fans can’t contain their enthusiasm. If you love Lent Madness, don’t keep it to yourself. First, persuade the head of your church to fall in love with the saintly smackdown. Then get the leader of your church to show their support for Lent Madness. Here you can see the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Not only does she drink her coffee from a Lent Madness mug, but she is wearing a fan-favorite purple shirt.
Presiding Bishop

1. Show the world what Lent Madness is about
Sure, this whole contest is pretty ridiculous. But the point of all the fun is to get us to learn more about the lives of saints. Proclaim the resurrection with the boldness of Mary Magdalene. Use your God-given gifts to change the world in your daily work and life like Frances Perkins. Take risks for the Gospel and urge the church to change like Charles Wesley. Inspire people with creativity like C. S. Lewis. Let Christ’s light burn brightly in your life. And if you need help with that, ask the blessed company of saints for assistance. Our hope in the next life is to be nearer to God like the saints in light. Our hope in this life is, at least in part, to share some purple joy with the whole world.
purple world map

Lent Madness veterans, please share your own pro tips in the comments!

40 Comments to "Top Ten Lent Madness Pro Tips"

  1. February 21, 2015 - 6:04 pm | Permalink

    I forgot how many times you said we can vote this year.

    • Mary Jane Ingalls Buchanan's Gravatar Mary Jane Ingalls Buchanan
      February 24, 2015 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

      How do we post our mug shot?

  2. Victor of Sturbridge's Gravatar Victor of Sturbridge
    February 21, 2015 - 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Tim said, earlier today, that two people in the household using the same computer could both vote (this would seem to me to apply when I have a house guest using my computer). But at least on my laptop, one vote and the opportunity to vote disappears. Please clarify this and/or issue a clearer statement. Thanks and Blessings.

    • Paul's Gravatar Paul
      February 21, 2015 - 7:06 pm | Permalink

      If you have more than one browser on your laptop (e.g., Safari and Firefox), each of you should be able to vote if one of you uses one browser and the other uses the other browser.

  3. Gloriamarie Amalfitano's Gravatar Gloriamarie Amalfitano
    February 21, 2015 - 6:12 pm | Permalink

    AHEM!! Pleaase, oh please, tell me why everyone in Tip 6 is a nubile young woman? I know the Tips are supposed to be for fun, but considering that women are sexually objectified everywhere we turn, could you have been more sensitive and had half the people wearing purple be men? Please?

    • Miss J.'s Gravatar Miss J.
      February 21, 2015 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

      At least the women were not skinny skeletons. It was nice to see some naturally shaped women. (And about the only men one sees in full purple are cassock wearing Bishops or members of certain sports teams.)

    • JCF's Gravatar JCF
      February 22, 2015 - 2:27 am | Permalink

      You think THESE pics show women “sexually objectified”?! Considering about half the outfits look like comfy lounge wear (and none are exceptionally revealing), I suddenly realize I’m dressed WAY sexier than I thought… O_o

    • Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
      February 22, 2015 - 6:33 am | Permalink

      • Peggy's Gravatar Peggy
        February 22, 2015 - 6:55 am | Permalink

        The gist of this video seems to be that you should start wearing purple because your sanity is going to disappear anyway. Lent Madness indeed!

  4. LRHoffmann's Gravatar LRHoffmann
    February 21, 2015 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Did you get permission to use the images of the young women?
    I have seen some of them in ads.

    • Miss J.'s Gravatar Miss J.
      February 21, 2015 - 7:34 pm | Permalink

      I suspect the use of the images falls under fair use, especially since LM/the SEC/FM are not making any money off of them and they are used as part of an educational effort (learning about the saints).

  5. February 21, 2015 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Participate in the Lent Madness on-line community (comment on the boards, Twitter, or Lent Madness FB page) and start a discussion group at your church. Lent madness discussions go great with King Cake and coffee.

  6. Bob's Gravatar Bob
    February 21, 2015 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Discuss saints over dinner nightly, and see how long it takes until someone remembers that Hariett Tubman was ROBBED and then fail to actually pick a saint for that day…

  7. February 21, 2015 - 6:47 pm | Permalink

    I adapted information from the SEC for an article in our parish monthly newsletter

  8. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    February 21, 2015 - 6:47 pm | Permalink

    We have about 20 members of our parish filling out brackets to turn in tomorrow. So three matchups are done, so what: It’s Lent, no one would dare cheat! Here’s the problem: it’s still snowing, and several churches are already cancelling tomorrow’s services. What if we have to do the same? Will wearing purple despite waiting another week to fill in the first 8 winners on our bracket poster be enough for for St. Nicholas, Darnestown to get a shout out from the SEC?

  9. Vicki Hughes's Gravatar Vicki Hughes
    February 21, 2015 - 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Remember that Fred Rogers STILL hasn’t appeared on any bracket and nudge the SEC like crazy to get jim up there so some of us can vote for him before we’re too old to push the computer keys.

    • babzee's Gravatar babzee
      February 21, 2015 - 7:10 pm | Permalink

      thank you for that poignant reminder Vicki

      • Miss J.'s Gravatar Miss J.
        February 21, 2015 - 7:48 pm | Permalink

        And make sure to have local celebrations of St. Fred on or near his feast day (27 February). The existence of local celebrations is one of the criteria used in getting people added to Holy Women, Holy Men. And don’t let the dead for 50 years thing discourage you since there are there are those who have been added (C. S. Lewis & M. L. King, Jr.) less than 50 years after they died. And wait what is this, this just in . . . Clive Staples “Jack” Lewis had been dead less than 47 and a half years when he won the Golden Halo in Lent Madness 2011! So, by that 50 year rule, he wouldn’t have even been eligible for Lent Madness until last year.

        Also, some church calendars, though not the Rome’s, list someone else on the 27th of February. Someone that Lent Madness SEC co-chair Scott is rather fond of . . . . but then maybe the winner of the Lent Madness 2010 Golden Halo could be a good neighbor and share his spot on the calendar.

        • Mary W's Gravatar Mary W
          February 21, 2015 - 10:56 pm | Permalink

          and don’t forget to lobby for pictures of Fred Rogers’ dog! If George the Dog can be on LM, why not Fred Rogers’ dog?

        • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
          February 21, 2015 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

          Or – here’s a crazy idea – demand that in the future the Episcopal Church follow its own rules about adding people to the Church calendar….

          • Miss J.'s Gravatar Miss J.
            February 23, 2015 - 11:58 am | Permalink

            Or we can do what the citizens of Rome did soon after the death of John Paul II, Bishop of Rome, take to the streets chanting “santità subito” which means sainthood soon . . . and last April only nine years after he died he became Saint John Paul the Great. (By contrast it was only recently that Rome recognized that Oscar Romero was a martyr! Something we Episcopalians had already figured out. BTW, Romero was martyred, while celebrating the Eucharist, thirty-five years ago next month.)

    • Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
      February 21, 2015 - 7:48 pm | Permalink

      It’s not the SEC that needs nudging. The criteria for nominations was “please note that the saints you nominate should be in the sanctoral calendar of one or more churches.”

      I love Fred Rogers, but he needs to meet the criteria to be included. I’ve looked a little bit, but hopefully someone with knowledge of sanctoral calendars will pipe up to help – how does getting someone on a sanctoral calendar work??

  10. Deborah Walsh's Gravatar Deborah Walsh
    February 21, 2015 - 7:13 pm | Permalink

    My son and daughter both want to participate so I have one use the computer and the other access the website through my phone and vote there. I am hoping this is ok to do since we only have one computer and they both want to vote. They are 10 and 12 and having a ball with this!

  11. Marisa's Gravatar Marisa
    February 21, 2015 - 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I don’t suppose it’s a problem that the first two nights I voted from my cell phone, and tonight, the third round, I’m voting from computer. Only one vote from me each round!

  12. Mark Willems's Gravatar Mark Willems
    February 21, 2015 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Posted this over at the Theresa of Avila vs. David Oakerhater page. It fits better here.

    A few pointers for newbie “Lent Maniacs.”
    1. Whatever your criteria are for choosing which saint to vote for, you will find yourself sorely tempted to throw them out the window at some time. (The criteria, not the saints)
    2. Celtic, contemplative, contemporary – none of these should ever be the exclusive factor for choosing one saint over another. Read the bios and the comments. Do a little “homework.”
    3. Before you vote ask your self “How well will this holy person do in the round of saintly Kitsch?” This round has marked the end of the aspirations of many a contender.
    4. Keep at it. Do not let disappointment in the early rounds discourage you from seeing it through to the end.

    • Mary W's Gravatar Mary W
      February 21, 2015 - 10:58 pm | Permalink

      Although sometimes one IS tempted to throw the SEC out the window! Just kidding….maybe…

  13. February 21, 2015 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Read the comments before you vote! Very often, people share additional info about the saints, or offer a particular connection or interpretation that will influence how you think about them.

    Do comment to tell us the reason for your vote, especially if you have a personal connection to the saint/feastday/patronage, whether it’s big or small. Sharing those connections helps make visible our invisible communion of the saints. 🙂

  14. glenda woodward's Gravatar glenda woodward
    February 21, 2015 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Won’t you be my neighbor ? Hi Neighbor !
    LOL ! 🙂

  15. Melody's Gravatar Melody
    February 21, 2015 - 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I, as a female priest, am grateful for all the women of many different shapes, sizes, ages and colors in purple in this post (who didn’t strike me as nubile- seriously?!) – including our Presiding Bishop! It’s a good reminder that, in our tradition, women can wear purple!!!

  16. Mary W's Gravatar Mary W
    February 21, 2015 - 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Purple joy. Love it!

  17. Brixham Beth's Gravatar Brixham Beth
    February 22, 2015 - 2:11 am | Permalink

    At last women in the good old C of E can wear purple, a struggle to get there but the first is Libby Lane (I’m not good at photos so you’ll need to look her up – Bishop of Southport). Enjoying the Madness and doing my best to encourage the congregation and friends in England. Will wear more purple.

  18. Ann B's Gravatar Ann B
    February 22, 2015 - 4:32 am | Permalink

    Bishop of Stockport actually, not Southport – very close but for those of us who live in the region quite different places. No seaside in Stockport, no hills in Southport.
    Lots of lovely photos of Bishop Libby here

  19. John Colón's Gravatar John Colón
    February 22, 2015 - 7:25 am | Permalink

    I’m a guy who wears purple, lilac and fuchsia year round and I am not a bishop. So there.

    Confession: I am completing my bracket vote by vote writing in the winner of each vote. This guarantees bracket perfection and “duh, winning!”

    Yes, I am going mad!

  20. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    February 22, 2015 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    To the tech gooroos of LM: Is there a way to get the “Reply” option to each comment added to the Mobile version? I thought it was last year. It’s a pain to switch to Desktop every time I want to comment on a particular post. Or is that all part of the Madness!

Comments are closed.