Now that the sun has set on the Supreme Executive Committee, Ash Wednesday is morphing into Lent Madness Eve. We had our serious moment of Ash Wednesday piety, and we're ready to sound the fanfare on tomorrow’s opening match-up, unofficially known as the Matronly Meltdown®. Helena and Monnica step into the Lent Dome and begin the 2016 Lent Madness season at precisely 8:00 am Eastern Standard Time. Read about both saints and then vote (once!).
Maybe you're new to Lent Madness, and if so, welcome! Whether you're here for the first time or looking for a refresher on how it all works, we encourage you to have a look at Lent Madness Voting 101, which includes the timeless classic video on voting by the mysterious Maple Anglican.
We urge you to take full part in the Madness. Leave comments here on the website. Read what others have to say. Enjoy the (mostly) friendly rivalry and trash talk on social media. During the day, check in on the website often to see how each day's contest is going. And above all, delight in seeing how each saint was a powerful witness of Jesus Christ.
Now, we know that all over the world, people are marking Lent Madness Eve. Following Lent Madness tradition, some reports say thousands have gathered in Times Square to watch the Halo drop. As usual, 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. Get some make-up and "enhance" the ashes on your forehead. Maybe turn your face into a billboard for your favorite saint?
2. Find some decayed shrub (it's Lent, after all) and hang it from the ceiling. Treat it like mistletoe and give anyone who walks nearby the kiss of peace.
3. Paint all four tires on your car bright yellow. Drive around in a Golden Halo-mobile.
4. Pretend that you're a New Orleans Saints fan and that they won the Super Bowl.
5. Spray paint your dog purple.
6. Go to one of the custom greeting card websites and send everyone you know a Happy Lent Madness Eve card.
7. Black-eyed peas are for New Year's Eve. Eggplant is for Lent Madness Eve. Eat lots of it.
8. Bribe your altar guild to put a poster-sized bracket on the front of the altar in your church. And, while you're there, get rid of the vestments except the purple ones. Make Lent a year-round occasion.
9. Start a fan club for your favorite Celebrity Blogger.
10. Instead of the pop music countdown from New Year's Eve, play your favorite hymns on the stereo. Loud enough for the whole neighborhood to enjoy. They'll thank you.
Make sure you get a good night's rest. You'll want to be casting your vote tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. EST sharp! And get ready to encourage your co-workers and neighbors to vote also. This year is going to be another great season of Lent Madness.