Joyce's "Araby" opens with Biblical allusions. A literary allusion is a device whereby the writer conveys a great deal of information in very few words, usually through the imagery of very few words, that call up cultural recollection of commonly know facts, legends, stories, myths, histories, etc. A Biblical allusion is an allusion that refers to Biblical stories, characters, theologies, doctrines or religious persons, groups, concepts, locations, etc.
In one instance, the opening of "Araby" alludes to religious concepts of celibacy by having former tenant of the house be a Catholic priest, indicative of the narrator's plight regarding his love for Magan. It also alludes to the value of religious literary works by classing a popular theological work of the day, The Devout Communicant, with a detective story (The Memoirs of Vidocq) and a novel by Walter Scott about Benedictine monks and by locating them in the "waste room behind the kitchen ... with old useless papers."
Midway through the story, the narrator calls up a religious allusion when he says the deserted after-hours bazaar was like "a church after a service": the energy of past sounds and past activity is still present and still throwing out a metaphorical glow as a of ghost, which may suggest Joyce's sentiment as to the value (seemingly nil) of church services.