A Book of Uncommon Prayer

100 Celebrations of the Miracle & Muddle of the Ordinary
Author: Brian Doyle
Foreword by: Mary Miller Doyle
Afterword by: Peter Boland

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: September 1, 2023

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Brian Doyle was a one-of-a-kind author who wrote one-of-a-kind prayers about everyday subjects that help readers change the way they see the world.

Prayers for cashiers and good shoes; for shorter sermons and better senators; prayers for the bruised, foolish, glorious, stumbling, brilliant Church; for chaplains and mathematicians; for idiot authors and muddy dogs: These are the most heartfelt and headlong prayers you will ever read and share—the grinning, snarling prayers we mouth quietly in the car and the shower and the pub, the small chapels of our everyday life.

Doyle said he aimed to write short pieces that functioned like “arrows to the heart.” This book is a quiver full of those sharp arrows, “stealth theology” that explores everyday encounters—from nuns to possums, from Chet Baker to Port-A-Potties—through a Catholic, sacramental imagination.

Since Doyle’s death in 2017 from a brain tumor, enthusiasm for his award-winning writing has only swelled, whether it’s his quirky prayers, kinetic essays, or magical novels such as Mink River and The Plover. This tenth anniversary edition of A Book of Uncommon Prayer includes a new foreword from his wife, Mary, and an afterword from his good friend Peter Boland, who delivered the eulogy at Doyle’s funeral.

Product Details

Pages: 192

Trim size: 5 x 7 inches

Edition: 10th-Anniversary Edition

ISBN: 9781933495620

Imprint: Sorin Books

  • “Amazing Prayers!”

    “Pound for pound, Brian Doyle is the best writer of spirituality in Catholicland, and I doubt if any writer can match him in any land. These amazing prayers—in thanks for decent shoes, for cashiers and checkout counter folks, for the reader who photocopies this prayer and shares it with friends and sisters—and so much more, are where the rubber meets the road. This is Brian Doyle's time, and your time to read his wonderful books if you haven't before. A Book of Uncommon Prayer is a great place to start.”

    Michael Leach
    Author of Why stay Catholic?

  • “Earthily spiritual.”

    “Brian Doyle remains our great poet of paradox: irreverently reverent, wildly civilized, jokingly serious, and earthily spiritual.”

    Gregory Wolfe
    Founder of Image magazine

  • “Moments of humor and pain as marked with God’s grace.”

    “I keep this book on my desk for days that wrench my soul or ones where I just need a little refocus. Reading Brian Doyle’s work, especially this tiny collection of prayers, has shown me how to view both moments of humor and pain as marked with God’s grace.”

    Shemaiah Gonzalez
    Author of Brian Doyle: Finding God in the Ordinary

  • “An anthem to everyday wonder.”

    A Book of Uncommon Prayer is an anthem to everyday wonder. It made me want to pray and reminded me that attentiveness is prayer at its purest. I will reach for this book and Brian Doyle’s magical blend of simplicity, tenderness, and humor for the rest of my ordinary days.”

    Shannan Martin
    Author of The Ministry of Ordinary Places

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Additional Resources

"A Best Spiritual Book of the Year," Spirituality & Practice
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