Happy All Brackets’ Day!

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).

2020 bracket

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!

50 Comments to "Happy All Brackets’ Day!"

  1. Valerie Hess's Gravatar Valerie Hess
    November 3, 2019 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    You all are the best!

  2. Dorothée Caulfield's Gravatar Dorothée Caulfield
    November 3, 2019 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    Wonderful bracket! Thank you.

  3. Karen Jennings's Gravatar Karen Jennings
    November 3, 2019 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    One question please? Could Sr. Thea Bowman be considered for a possible name in a later Lent Madness?
    I look forward to seeing and participating!

    Thank you,

  4. Susan murphy's Gravatar Susan murphy
    November 3, 2019 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Thanks you make Lent prayerful and FUN

    • Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
      November 3, 2019 - 8:52 pm | Permalink

      I so agree.

  5. Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
    November 3, 2019 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait for the madness to begin!!!

  6. Betsy Rogers's Gravatar Betsy Rogers
    November 3, 2019 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    What, still no St. George??!

  7. Linda Barnard's Gravatar Linda Barnard
    November 3, 2019 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    Waiting for the yearly Madness to begin: the humor, the Monday videos with our Fearless Leaders, the coffee reports… I could go on! Seriously, as a Presbyterian, I’ve learned a lot about the saints and looking more deeply into each day of Lent. Keep up the good work!

  8. Robert Chapman's Gravatar Robert Chapman
    November 3, 2019 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    I thought that Eustace was a character from the Chronicles of Narnia. What gives? What are they teaching the Supreme Executive Board these days?

    Now that we have All Brackets Sunday, are we officially in Pre-Lent?

  9. Bill Lesshafft's Gravatar Bill Lesshafft
    November 3, 2019 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope the need to win does not cause the cheating and multiple votes.

    Last year the contest was forever shamed.

  10. November 3, 2019 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    Finally it is almost time! I do look forward to the learning and the fun I have each year!

  11. November 3, 2019 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Please SEC, Lent Madness is not whacky!! It has been the best Lenten discipline I have ever participated in for many years. I have a learned more about the ordinary and extra-Saints ordinary Saints over the centuries. This practice has deepened my personal prayer life and, besides, it is fun!!

  12. Nancy Odden's Gravatar Nancy Odden
    November 3, 2019 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    Yet another wonderful madness! Great fun!

  13. November 3, 2019 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    Looking forward to this coming year’s Lenten Madness. I recognize some names and want to learn about others. Lenten Madness really adds to my Lenten discipline. Thanks to all who develop this and to all the great comments that also are so informative.

  14. John F. Miller's Gravatar John F. Miller
    November 3, 2019 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    Who would like to form a secret cabal that will try to ensure an all Elizabeth final four?

    • A Jennifer's Gravatar A Jennifer
      November 3, 2019 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes! (shhh)

    • Elizabeth A. Nonymous's Gravatar Elizabeth A. Nonymous
      November 3, 2019 - 7:05 pm | Permalink

      I’m in

  15. T Taylor's Gravatar T Taylor
    November 3, 2019 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    Woohoo! Junia – how exciting this relatively unknown disciple is included! And Evelyn Underhill too – yippee!! What a terrific lineup – thank you for the great work that will lead us in our observance of a holy Lent 2020.

  16. November 3, 2019 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    Lent Madness absolutely invigorated our Sunday School last year!! The kids voted to chose one of the current saints each week, read aloud selected the write-up in class, and discussed. Yes, there were a few questions raised that had the teachers squirming a little bit, and one or two “You probably better ask your mom about that!” responses, but the kids loved the entire process and got incredibly involved in it. By the end of Lent, they were digging out Christmas Pageant costumes to suitably dress up as the saints in question. On their way into church from Sunday School, they carefully checked the bracket posted outside the Rector’s office to see how “their” saint had done. THANK YOU!!

  17. Elizabeth N Anderson's Gravatar Elizabeth N Anderson
    November 3, 2019 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    Why, of why? the agony is again upone me of having to agony of having to decide between 2 of my all time favorites.!

  18. November 3, 2019 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    I’ll need more time to mull it over and there’s lots to learn about the entries, but from the onset I’m seeing Saint Patrick and Saint Florian as the Finalists for the Golden Halo. The winner will be Saint Florian. What other saint has put out a raging fire with a pitcher …. of beer!? I’ll be spreading the Golden Halo bracket news on my blog and can’t wait for the season to begin! I love your work! Thanks. rob

    • Mary Margaret Yates's Gravatar Mary Margaret Yates
      November 3, 2019 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

      So I am already praying for guidance as I have to choose between esteemed role models. Looking forward to Lent!

  19. Bring Back Philander's Gravatar Bring Back Philander
    November 3, 2019 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I introduced my father to Lent Madness. Each day’s voting brought out his inner crotchy old guy “get off my lawn” side, yet he faithfully voted each and every time. Dad now votes with the rest of the Heavenly host, and is, I’m sure, very pleased that the bracket gets announced on his birthday. Thank again to all.

    • Jane Trambley's Gravatar Jane Trambley
      November 3, 2019 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

      What a great idea! Christmas shopping for my Methodist mother DONE

    • November 4, 2019 - 8:47 am | Permalink

      Love this. Thanks for sharing. And blessings to you and your family.

  20. November 3, 2019 - 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait for this insane learning opportunity.

  21. Emily F's Gravatar Emily F
    November 3, 2019 - 2:07 pm | Permalink

    This is a fantastic list of saints from every walk of life and stature. I’m excited!!!

  22. James Lodwick's Gravatar James Lodwick
    November 3, 2019 - 2:25 pm | Permalink

    SEC, I love your humor!

  23. Jane Trambley's Gravatar Jane Trambley
    November 3, 2019 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Did Lentorium crash? Could not find the giant poster. I am taking that stocking stuffer crack to the bank, Baby.

  24. Joanne B. Parrott's Gravatar Joanne B. Parrott
    November 3, 2019 - 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I used last years book as a reference during Morning Prayer service today.
    Will get my scorecard ASAP Can’t wait for all March Madnesses.

  25. Pat Blair's Gravatar Pat Blair
    November 3, 2019 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

    St. Thomas’ Episcopal, Wharton, TX, is looking forward to the competition. Thanks for making it so enjoyable.

  26. Michelle C's Gravatar Michelle C
    November 3, 2019 - 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been putting the Saintly Scorecards in my family’s stockings for years. I don’t think they all follow and enjoy Lent Madness as much as I do but maybe one day. I’ve learned so much about so many saints that I’d never heard of before. My favorite is still Saint Brigid of Kildaire but I’ve come to appreciate them all. Can’t wait for the madness to begin.

    SEC, please think about putting together a book of the wonderful songs, poems and limericks that have been gracing the comments for the last couple of years. Last year’s were especially wonderful.

  27. Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
    November 3, 2019 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Do we get to sing “Hey, Jude”on his bracket day? Or might one (or both) of last year’s lyricists write some new lyrics to encourage people to vote?

    And I second Michelle C’s motion to have “a book of the wonderful songs, poems, and limericks….”

    • andrea's Gravatar andrea
      November 3, 2019 - 11:23 pm | Permalink

      Third! Thanks again for a wonderful bracket. Looking forward to the madness! Happy All Brackets’ Day!!

  28. John Holz's Gravatar John Holz
    November 3, 2019 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Is there a Collect for All Brackets Day?

    • November 4, 2019 - 8:50 am | Permalink

      No. But somebody should write one and send it to us!

      • November 6, 2019 - 3:06 am | Permalink

        O Lord our creator, who has called us all to be saints, make us this All Brackets’ Day to be good neighbors to one another; grant us, we beseech Thee, comfort when once again our favorite Saint, who asked us all to be his neighbor, is once again not on the Lent Madness Bracket; and give us the grace to see everybody on this fragile Earth our island home as our neighbors, through Christ Jesus our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, forevermore. Amen.

  29. Leslie Kintner's Gravatar Leslie Kintner
    November 3, 2019 - 7:15 pm | Permalink

    It was a pleasant surprise to see an email from Lent Madness – such a great old friend.
    Thank you for going through all that coffee and work!!! Don’t forget we are watching you both closely – your (possession); you’re (you are)

  30. Deborah's Gravatar Deborah
    November 3, 2019 - 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Love this and can’t wait to start anew! One problem though: You listed Ash Thursday….we celebrate Ash Wednesday here in Maine! Is this something new????

    • Corey's Gravatar Corey
      November 4, 2019 - 11:41 am | Permalink

      Just a nicer way to refer to “the Thursday after Ash Wednesday.”

  31. Terrie Ann Wallace's Gravatar Terrie Ann Wallace
    November 3, 2019 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to the 2020 bracket! Also- Is big lent still watching? Hope so! I had left-clicked on “comments feed” and the HTML page for this particular page that I am leaving the comment on came up instead of the comments feed which was quite strange. Hopefully, the SEC doesn’t have anyone out there headed into Lenten purple darkness already due to hacking and it’s only a bug! That might be something that needs to be checked out though. Also- although I had gone to the Facebook page at 6:05 Mountain Time which would have been 8:05 Eastern there wasn’t anything live.

  32. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    November 4, 2019 - 11:12 am | Permalink

    As the times they did change yesterday
    To my ears came a distant “Hooray!
    Let us scream! Let us shout!
    The new bracket is out!”
    So I hid in my bed ’til today.

    • Kate the Catechist's Gravatar Kate the Catechist
      November 4, 2019 - 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Good one! I am sure I am not the only one looking forward to your Saintly Limericks again this year!

  33. Corey's Gravatar Corey
    November 4, 2019 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    I know that “mostly” is an important modifier, but how did James the Less end up in “Mostly Modern?” That’s a pretty expansive view of modernity!

    • Mefster the Hovering in the Middle Somewhere's Gravatar Mefster the Hovering in the Middle Somewhere
      November 4, 2019 - 5:59 pm | Permalink

      That’s obvious, eh? The Supreme Executive Committee could not resist pitting More against Less.

  34. Derrick's Gravatar Derrick
    November 4, 2019 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    I must say I’m disappointed my suggestion of Aelred didn’t make the cut, but I’m sure it will still be a wonderful cast of characters!

  35. Mary not Elizabeth's Gravatar Mary not Elizabeth
    November 4, 2019 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Battle of the ‘Beths! Awesome!

  36. Ginny Berkey's Gravatar Ginny Berkey
    November 4, 2019 - 10:22 pm | Permalink

    This is going to be a tough Lenten season. Some of my favorites will be vying for my vote.

  37. Jennifer Read's Gravatar Jennifer Read
    November 5, 2019 - 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I order one $3 bracket for myself, and I greatly enjoy the whole adventure with the saints. But your automatic postage figuring in the checkout costs three times what the bracket does. I complained last year and was charged a more reasonable fee. Can you please build it into the system?

Comments are closed.