Nominationtide is upon us!

For one full week, the Supreme Executive Committee will be accepting nominations for Lent Madness 2023. The nominating period will remain open through Monday, May 16, at which point this brief exercise in Lenten democracy will cease and the SEC will return to their regularly scheduled benevolently authoritarian ways.

Nominationtide, the most underrated of liturgical seasons, never begins at the same time other than the vague "sometime after Easter Day." This is partly because Tim and Scott have day jobs and partly because "whim" is one of their ecclesiastical charisms. But it's here! And the world rejoices!

To insure your SUCCESSFUL nomination, please note the Nominationtide Rules & Regulations, which reside in an ancient illuminated manuscript tended to by aged monks who have been set aside by saints and angels for this holy calling.

  1. The nominee must, in fact, be dead.
  2. The nominee must be on the official calendar of saintly commemorations of some church.
  3. We will accept only one nomination per person.
  4. You must tell us WHY you are nominating your saint.
  5. The ONLY way to nominate a saint will be to leave a comment on this post.
  6. That means comments left on Facebook, Twitter, attached to a brick and thrown through the window at Forward Movement headquarters, or placed on giant placards outside the residences of Tim or Scott don’t count.

As you discern saints to nominate, please keep in mind that a number of saints are ineligible for next year’s Saintly Smackdown. Based on longstanding tradition, this includes the entire field of Lent Madness 2022, those saints who made it to the Round of the Elate Eight in 2021 and 2020, and those from the 2019 Faithful Four.

Needless to say Jesus, Mary, Tim, Scott, past or present Celebrity Bloggers, and previous Golden Halo Winners are also ineligible. Below is a comprehensive list of ineligible saints. Please keep this in mind as you submit your nominations. Do not waste your precious nomination on an ineligible saint!

For the sake of "transparency," the rest of the process unfolds thusly: Tim and Scott will gather for the annual Spring SEC Retreat at a secure, undisclosed location/coffee shop to consider the nominations and create a full, fun, faithful, and balanced bracket of 32 saints. Then all will be revealed on All Brackets' Day, November 3rd. Or at least, "that's the ways we've always done it."

Time to nominate your favorite saint! But first, look over this list.

The Saints of Lent Madness 2022 (ineligible)

Teresa of Avila
Juliana of Liege
Juana Inés de la Cruz
Gabriel the Archangel
Hilda of Whitby
Mesrop Mashtots
Madeline Sophie Barat
Melania the Elder
Hilary of Poitiers
Aloysius Gonzaga
Thomas of Villanova
Felix of Burgundy
Oscar of Ansgar
Thomas Aquinas
Emma of Hawaii
Hugh of Lincoln
José Gregorio Hernández
Constance of Memphis
James Holly
Kateri Tekakwitha

Past Golden Halo Winners (ineligible)

George Herbert, C.S. Lewis, Mary Magdalene, Frances Perkins, Charles Wesley, Francis of Assisi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Florence Nightingale, Anna Alexander, Martha of Bethany, Harriet Tubman, Absalom Jones, José Hernández

From 2019 to 2021 (ineligible)

Pandita Ramabai
Herman of Alaska
Hildegard of Bingen
Elizabeth Fry
Camillus de Lellis
Benedict the Moor
Ives of Kermartin
Albert the Great
Theodore the Empress
Catherine Booth
2022 Golden Halo mug

As you contemplate your (single!) nomination, why not aid your reflection and sharpen your focus with a hot mug of your favorite beverage? The most effective way to do this, of course, is by reverently sipping out of a Lent Madness mug from the Lentorium. We assume you’ve already ordered your José Hernández 2022 Golden Halo winner mug, but if not, here’s the link.

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Monday Madness -- Eastertide Edition

Alleluia, Christ is risen and it's time for another episode of Monday Madness! The Lord is risen indeed, and Tim and Scott are here with an action-packed episode. Naturally, they celebrate the incredibly dramatic victory of Dr. José Hernández to win the 2022 Golden Halo. With just a three-vote margin, it was the closest champtionship contest in Lent Madness history.

2022 Golden Halo mugYou might like to celebrate the win of Dr. Hernández by raising a toast in a commemorative 2022 Golden Halo winner mug. Limited quantities will be produced, so get your order in today! We expect them to ship in early summer, but shipping dates and the exact final appearance of the mug may vary due to supply chain issues. But once they're gone, they're gone. Order yours today!

If you do order a mug, when your mug arrives, please send us your mug shot! We love sharing photos of the Lent Madness Global Viewing Public enjoying their coffee (or tea) while they discuss bracketology or relive the drama of the Saintly Sixteen.

Easter Triumph Easter Joy book coverSpeaking of ordering things, if you're looking for a way to sustain Easter joy, Scott's latest book is Easter Triumph, Easter Joy: Meditations for the Fifty Days of Eastertide. You can get it in paper from Amazon, Forward Movement, or your local bookseller. It's also available as an ebook.

Tim wrote a humorous look at the season some years ago, Dust Bunnies in the Basket: Finding God in Lent & Easter, available as a book and ebook.

Visit the Lentorium regularly for updates on books and merchandise for Lent Madness fans.


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Happy Easter -- the Sequel to Lent

As you might guess, we're pretty devoted to Lent here at Lent Madness HQ. But even we have often said that Lent is the warm-up for the bigger season, the great fifty days of Easter. Indeed, the liturgy of the Episcopal Church reminds us that Lent is a season to "prepare with joy for the Paschal feast."

So let us be among the first to wish you a joyful and blessed Easter!

Whether you are celebrating José Hernández's win, weeping bitter tears over Teresa of Avila's narrow loss, or among those whose brackets were totally busted early on, Jesus rose for you. Jesus rose for saints and sinners, liberals and conservatives, old and young, and every glorious variety of human on this beautiful world in which we live.

In Easter we celebrate the triumph of God's grace and mercy over the powers of sin and death. The universe is changed, and for that we shout a hearty, "Alleluia!"

We worry though that some people have a momentary blip of Easter joy and then get on with business as usual, even though the cosmic powers of the status quo are permanently cast down.

Today we want to invite you to celebrate Easter for the full fifty days. There are lots of ways you can do that. Over at the 50 Days blog, you can find daily reflections for whole Easter season. Sign up to get daily emails, or just visit the site each day.

Easter Triumph Easter Joy book coverTim and Scott have both written books to help you out. Scott's latest book, just published, is Easter Triumph, Easter Joy: Daily Meditations for the Fifty Days of Eastertide. You can get it in paper or start reading right away on your Kindle. Tim approached this time of year with humor in Dust Bunnies in the Basket: Finding God in Lent & Easter, also available in paper or for your Kindle.

You can decide to read the Book of Acts over the Easter season. Or commit to daily prayers. Write Alleluia on someone's sidewalk (in chalk!) every day. Find your own way to keep up the Easter joy.

Speaking of keeping up joy, there's one more annual appeal left for us to make. Forward Movement is proud to sponsor Lent Madness. It's a way to encourage more joy in a sometimes joy-less world and to help us see the ways Christ's light shines in the hearts of people of all cultures, races, types, and times. While we do sell some merch, we keep Lent Madness free for anyone who'd like to play.

Forward Movement offers other resources for free. If you or someone you know is wondering how to raise children in the faith, check out Grow Christians, a free resource for households with chidlren trying to sort out what it means to follow Jesus together. Forward Movement offers free podcasts, apps, and a rich daily prayer website, all for free. They also give over 100,000 books and booklets away for free each year, mostly to prisons, but also for hospitals, nursing homes, and military bases.

Everything Forward Movement does is made possible by the generosity of donors. If you are able to make a gift to help Forward Movement continue to share the Good News of God in Jesus Christ, your gift will make a difference. If you can't make a gift, that's OK too.

We wish you a joyous fifty days of Easter. Alleluia, Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia.

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