Free Lent Madness Stuff!

Here at Lent Madness we’re purveyors of free things — grace (fine, that’s from God), brackets (you can print your own), and this entire Lenten devotion — despite our regular hawking of Saintly Scorecards and Bracket Posters, there is no cost to participate in Lent Madness.

But that’s not all! Today we’re offering two more FREE THINGS for all you church newsletter and Sunday bulletin creators: A free Lent Madness 2019 article AND free bulletin inserts!

How can you use the free article? Put it in your newsletter; put a stamp on it and mail it to your entire parish directory; print out copies and plaster them on windshields in the church parking lot (or at the grocery store); attach it to a drone and deliver it to the front door of all your neighbors.

How can you use the free bulletin insert? Download it, print it out, and stuff it into your Sunday bulletin; sneak it inside the grocery store circular when you’re shopping for purple Lent-based food items like beets; go to neighboring churches and pay off the usher to put it into THEIR bulletins.

For those curious about this “Lent Madness thing,” these (free) items serve as perfect introductions. And they’re entirely free for however you see fit to use them. This is yet another, value-added service provided to you from your friends at Lent Madness.

Lent Madness 2019 The Saintly Smackdown is back!

Just when you thought Lent couldn’t possibly become even more penitential, have we got an online hair shirt for you! For the tenth year running, people of faith are filling out saintly brackets and gearing up for the 2019 “saintly smackdown.” 

With its unique blend of competition, learning, and humor, Lent Madness allows participants to be inspired by the ways in which God has worked through the lives of saintly souls across generations and cultures. Throughout Lent, thirty-two saints will do battle to win the coveted Golden Halo. Based loosely on the NCAA basketball tournament of a similar name, this online devotion pits saints against one another in a bracket as voters choose their favorites throughout this penitential season.

Here’s how to participate: on the weekdays of Lent, information is posted at about two different saints. Each pairing remains open for 24 hours as participants read about and then vote to determine which saint moves on to the next round. Sixteen saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo.

The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move into the area of saintly kitsch.

This year, Lent Madness features an intriguing slate of saints ancient and modern, Biblical and ecclesiastical. 2019 heavyweights include Ignatius of Loyola, Nicodemus, Margaret of Cortona, John Chrysostom, and Nicholas of Myra (aka St. Nick). The competition kicks off on “Ash Thursday,” March 7, with an epic battle between Biblical saints Mary and Martha.

The full bracket is online at the Lent Madness website and, while not necessary to participate, you can order The Saintly Scorecard: The Definitive Guide to Lent Madness 2019 at This companion guide includes biographies of all 32 saints, a full-color bracket, and information about how to fully participate.

Lent Madness began in 2010 as the brainchild of the Rev. Tim Schenck, an Episcopal priest and rector of St. John’s Church in Hingham, Massachusetts. In seeking a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women who make up the church’s calendar of saints, Schenck devised this devotion. Combining his love of sports with his passion for the lives of the saints, Lent Madness was born.

Starting in 2012, Schenck partnered with Forward Movement (the same folks that publish Forward Day by Day) executive director Scott Gunn, to bring Lent Madness to the masses. Schenck and Gunn form the self-appointed Supreme Executive Committee, a more-or-less benevolent dictatorship that runs the entire operation.

Borrowing inspiration from yet another national sporting event, Schenck and Gunn are referring to the 2019 competition as Lent Madness X. 

Over the years, the formula has worked as this online devotional has been featured in media outlets all over the country including national television, the Washington Post, NPR, USAToday, and even Sports Illustrated (seriously). More importantly thousands of people have been inspired by the saintly stories of those who have come before us in the faith.

Ten “celebrity bloggers” from across the country have been tapped to write for the project: the Rev. Amber Belldene of San Francisco, CA; the Rev. Laurie Brock of Lexington, KY; the Rev. Megan Castellan of Ithaca, BY; Anna Fitch Courie of Honolulu, HI; Dr. David Creech of Morehead, MN; the Rev. David Hansen of Woodlands, TX; Emily Miller of Chicago, IL; Carol Howard Merritt of Chattanooga, TN; The Rev. Marcus Halley of Minneapolis, MN; and the Rev. David Sibley of Walla Walla, WA. Information about each of the celebrity bloggers and the rest of the team is available on the Lent Madness website.

If you’re looking for a Lenten discipline that is fun, educational, occasionally goofy, and always joyful, join the Lent Madness journey. Lent needn’t be all doom and gloom. After all, what could be more joyful than a season specifically set aside to get closer to Jesus Christ?

21 Comments to "Free Lent Madness Stuff!"

  1. Michael Hartney's Gravatar Michael Hartney
    February 18, 2019 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    That would be New York, aka NY.
    the Rev. Megan Castellan of Ithaca, BY

  2. Anna Fraser's Gravatar Anna Fraser
    February 18, 2019 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    So happy you are back!!

  3. Linda Wallace-Phelps's Gravatar Linda Wallace-Phelps
    February 18, 2019 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks to all the creators and writers who have given us 10 years of Lent Madness…. I’m so glad it’s back for another year!!

  4. Shawn's Gravatar Shawn
    February 18, 2019 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    Couple questions…Where’s the link to the article? Or is the bulletin insert also the article? (Technically that would then be only one free thing, but serving in two capacities.) And in the bulletin insert it states that the 2019 Saintly Scorecard contains a series of Pocket Lent trading cards, I sure didn’t see them in mine…did I miss something? Thnx…looking forward to this year, there are some tough matchups which already have our congregation cursing the bracket czar.

  5. Jean Garrison's Gravatar Jean Garrison
    February 18, 2019 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    Looking forward again to participating and learning. Thank you

  6. Pat McMichael's Gravatar Pat McMichael
    February 18, 2019 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    Printed only left half of Saints bracket? How do I get right side?

  7. The Rev Jane W Van Zandt's Gravatar The Rev Jane W Van Zandt
    February 18, 2019 - 11:10 am | Permalink

    I am so excited that the Lent Madness season is upon us! It’s fun, and it’s an excellent discipline. Kind of covers the “what did you give up/take on” thing.

  8. Lane Johnson's Gravatar Lane Johnson
    February 18, 2019 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    Received our Saintly Scorecards this week and do miss the trading cards.

  9. aleathia nicholson's Gravatar aleathia nicholson
    February 18, 2019 - 11:35 am | Permalink

    WELL….Here we go again ! Off to the races !!!!!

  10. Jean Garrison's Gravatar Jean Garrison
    February 18, 2019 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    I lead a small group study on Tuesday morning each week. We use the Forward Day by Day meditation and daily office. Would love to experience Lent Madness with our group this year. What are your suggestions?

  11. Lucretia Jevne's Gravatar Lucretia Jevne
    February 18, 2019 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday we filmed our congregation, St. Brigid of Kildare Episcopal Church, Rio Vista, CA singing the Lent Madness Hymn with a wurlitzer organ. Hope we can figure out how to send it to the supreme executive committee!

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      February 18, 2019 - 4:23 pm | Permalink

      The St. Brigid of Kildare choral performance of The Official Lent Madness Hymn can be found on YouTube. Their verve and the dulcet tones of the Wurlitzer show the true Lent Madness Spirit. It has been true joy watching and listening to the various renditions of this, er, inspired (0r something) hymn.

      • Lucretia Jevne's Gravatar Lucretia Jevne
        February 18, 2019 - 4:42 pm | Permalink

        We had so much fun doing this as part of our St. Brigid’s Feast Day Celebrations! Thank you for your fabulous hymn writing inspirations!!!

  12. Vickie's Gravatar Vickie
    February 18, 2019 - 10:28 pm | Permalink

    See Shawn’s comment above. I, too, did not have any trading cards. Did you decide to discontinue them? Also, please clarify where we can find “the article”. Thank you.

  13. Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
    February 18, 2019 - 11:58 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t notice the lack of trading cards…but I have all mine from previous years!

    Sharing the Saintly Scorecards with friends at the local Presbyterian and Catholic churches. Spread the word across denominations!

  14. Melanie Sokhey's Gravatar Melanie Sokhey
    February 19, 2019 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Dear Supreme Executive Committee,
    I have pushed for my new parish to undertake doing Lent Madness as a group activity to enliven our coffee hour etc. They took me up on it! And I am now tasked with working out some of the logistics— can we vote as a group? If so, how would we convey the votes to you? Having participated for a couple of years I know that “stuffing the balllot box” has been an issue for some of the saints and we would need to emphasize that folks shouldn’t vote at church AND online. What is your best advice?

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      February 19, 2019 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Hello Melanie,
      When the parish I was in participated everyone who participated voted on their own. We also had time to discuss the “candidates” and kept track of winners on the big poster which was posted where everyone could see it. It might be fun to have a parish vote on a separate poster and see how your votes stack up against the Lent Madness voting public. But you are right that the SEC would be stressed by multiple votes coming in from a single address. It is important NEVER to stress the SEC.

  15. February 19, 2019 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Just to clarify a couple of things. First of all, to access the FREE bulletin insert, simply click on the words “free bulletin insert.” It will appear on your screen as a pdf. Print it out.

    The FREE newsletter article is pasted into the post itself below the (FREE) headline in bold. Copy and past it wherever you’d like.

    Finally, regarding the Pocket Lent cards, we didn’t include them this year. We didn’t mean to mention them in the bulletin insert. Alas, you get what you pay for.

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      February 19, 2019 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Tim, not to be picky or anything, but shouldn’t the background color of your comment be purple, or at least pre-Lent lavender? Even though your color here is not Sarum blue, it’s still more Advent than Lent and it is important to do these things with all liturgical correctness.

  16. Tom Coleman's Gravatar Tom Coleman
    February 20, 2019 - 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Here we go again, thanks guys (hope it’s
    O.K. To call priests’ guys)
    Love one another

Comments are closed.