After the heady days of Nominationtide, and the submission of hundreds and hundreds of saintly nominations, the Supreme Executive Committee is pleased to release the highly anticipated 2020 Lent Madness bracket. Following their Spring Retreat, held in a secure, undisclosed coffee shop where Herculean amounts of single origin coffee was consumed, the SEC whittled down the field to 32 saints who will compete for the coveted Golden Halo.
This year, All Brackets' Day just happens to fall, appropriately enough, on All Saints' Sunday. Which means that people everywhere will have something to talk about at coffee hour, besides critiquing the preacher's sermon. Let the bracketological conversations, feuds, and smack-talk ensue!
All Brackets' Day also completes the Autumn Triduum (which will surely appear in subsequent Prayer Book revisions) consisting of All Saints' Day (November 1), All Souls' Day (November 2), and All Brackets' Day (November 3).
But enough of this preamble. Let's get to the 2020 bracket!
This year’s saints include heavyweights such as Patrick, Harriet Tubman, Clare of Assisi, Hildegaard of Bingen, Joseph, and Jude, along with many lesser known yet equally inspiring people of faith. Here's the bracket (click for a bigger version).
As a reminder, or if your new to this wacky online devotion, here’s how Lent Madness works: on the weekdays of Lent, information is posted at www.lentmadness.org 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 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.
Unlike professional and collegiate sporting events, there is no admission cost for Lent Madness, but souvenirs and study aids are available in the Lentorium. The Saintly Scorecard: The Official Guide to Lent Madness 2020 is now available as are Bracket posters. Although Lent Madness doesn't officially kick off until Ash Thursday, February 27, you're encouraged to order your Lent Madness materials now while supplies last (seriously, we tend to run out of these things in the run-up to Lent). Plus they make AMAZING stocking stuffers. With just 114 shopping days until Ash Thursday, it's not too soon to start loading up!
Twelve “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; Anna Fitch Courie of Columbia, SC; Dr. David Creech of Moorhead, MN; the Rev. Megan Castellan of Ithaca, NY; Miguel Escobar of Brooklyn, NY; Neva Rae Fox of Somerville, NJ; the Rev. David Hansen of Woodlands, TX; Carol Howard Merrit of Chattanooga, TN; Emily McFarlan Miller of Chicago, IL; Dr. Sandra Montes of New York, NY; 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.
As you revel in the joys of All Brackets' Day, join Tim and Scott for a special Facebook Live Bracket Release Party at 8:00 pm EST on the Lent Madness Facebook page. Happy Lent!
From one of the church militant in Canada to all the saints of the church militant in USA - especially my fellow saints in San Diego - Happy Brackets Day indeed. Looking forward to seeing how Tuesday's choices work out, as well as Thursday's bracketry. It's going to be an exciting week.
Hi, Simon! An exciting week indeed.
And a Happy Brackets Day to you folks in the frozen North.
Yes, and we are blessed to have Grace Burson, closely related to my adjacent commentator Gretchen Pritchard, exported from New Hampshire to serve with us in Montreal
Glad you guys are on the ball!!!!
Oh, come on. Mary and Martha have been competing against each other for long enough!
My thoughts exactly! Really you have to pit sisters against one another????
Thought the same thing.
I nominate St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
St Anne is rarely mentioned, and yet she gave birth to and nurtured the Mother of Jesus. What a remarkable women.
She's also the patron saint of grandmothers...and of my hometown, Detroit!
Oh happy day! Thankful for All Brackets' Day.
Your timing is exquisite, coming just before the clocks change for many of your fans. Many thanks for giving us something to look forward to during the dark winter. We appreciate all the hard work that goes into this splendid effort.
Hail thee, All Brackets' Day!
Blest day in the time of Lent Madness!
Day when the SEC reveals the brackets to us!
Now that tune is in my head next to “I sing a song of the saints of God” from yesterday....
Gobnait for the Golden Halo! (“Gobnait”?? Where’d that one come from?)
In your copious spare time, please O please add a "LIKE" feature to these comments? It is so frustrating not to be able to appreciate the brilliance and wit displayed here.
What about appointing the plus key as the Official Like Button of Lent Madness?
Good idea! There also would be plenty of time to program it in before Lenten Madness officially begins 🙂
Dismas is in!! The patron saint of being in the right place at the right time! Thank you!
Oh boy! I've been nominating Ananias (of Damascus) for years. Ananias for the Golden Halo!
What a pairing, Nicholas, Santa Claus, and Rudolph, patron saint of reindeer, I assume!!
Blessings from Ottawa Canada, one of the homes of St Margeurite d’Youville!
I shall be comforted throughout the long, cold winter by the knowledge that Lent Madness is coming! (I am still recovering from breaking my hip on Aug. 5, with immediate surgery and much physical therapy. Still in constant pain, but walking much better.)
Happy Brackets Day! I can't wait to get my poster! There is a typo on the poster though, on the right hand bracket the Mostly Modern and Miscellaneous are mislabeled (Miscellaneous should be on top).
When when when will it be Guinefort's year?!
Some oldies but goodies on the list. Pretty important to our liturgy even if they were boys. And their anonymous momies must have been proud. Just saying. So many saints, so few brackets.
Whoever Gobnait is, s/he already has my vote. I nominate him/her Patron Saint of Middle Earth.
Looking forward to this type of “madness”
Deacons do indeed dismiss the congregation to go out to the world, but we do more than that, liturgically, pastorally, in the church and in the world. I am sure you know that, but you have some readers who may not.
The print was so small that I had a hard time reading some of the entrants. Is there a saint who heals the blind on the draw?
Happy All Brackets Day from Pocatello, ID! Agreed on Mary and Martha- they've competed against each other and competed. Talk about sibling rivalry... I'll also have to remember to start wishing Happy Lent! I went into a local Dollar Tree in Pocatello to find a secret sister gift for church women's group and they already had box after box out of Christmas and customers had an absolute maize to dodge in one section of the store! I was looking for a little something for All Saints Sunday or pretty Fall decor and things had already been grabbed in a close-out sale. If I happen to go back to that store I will definitely use the Lenten wishes!
At our monthly Daughters of the King chapter meeting, I was asked to share a devotional and prayer. Since it is All Saints weekend, I shared the story of Anna Alexander from my Lent Madness booklet. We have adopted her as our patron saint for 1 year. Thank you for sharing her story of courage, devotion and servanthood with us. She set an example worthy of emulation!
Happy Brackets Day indeed. More wonderful saints to learn about. Can't wait for Lent. Never thought those words would come from me, but since Lent Madness there they are
once again no Mr. Rogers. I hope the movie made about him rakes in millions.
I do hope he makes the cut some year!
Having also now just come across the post on Facebook about placing a bet on the winner of the golden halo- I vote Nicholas of Myra first choice, St. Ann- second choice.
Happy All Brackets' Day!! Thanks for St. Gobnait-now I can bee happy. (Patron Saint of bees and beekeeping) Looking forward to learning about the all the other Saints and the Madness!
OMG! So forthcoming and early. The saints of "All Saints Day" would be proud of you all!
BTW poring should be pouring....(ha ha)
Is there a 2019 match-up calendar? Does each day open a little door to find two saintly chocolates in the image of the Saints du jour? OK, I'll settle for a downloadable, printable match up calendar. Please?
Great selections. However, I will continue to nominate the beautiful soul, Amy Carmichael, missionary to those in need in India, and spiritual writer and encourager of those seeking a daily walk with our Lord. As I read some other comments, Mr Rogers sounds like a good choice to mix in with some of the old-timer saints.