Religious devotions

The Stations at St Joseph's Parish Church, Glasthule.

Stations of the Cross — a Catholic devotion consisting of prayers and meditations before each of 14 images set up in a church, typically at intervals along the side walls of the nave, which commemorate the events of the Passion of Jesus. In most churches these images are small plaques with reliefs or paintings. The devotion is usually conducted personally, the worshipper making his way from one station to the next, saying his prayers at each. But sometimes there's an officiating celebrant who steers the faithful crowd and guides their muttered response. ((MCD, Wikipedia)).

Wikipedia: Stations of the Cross
Catholic Encyclopedia: Way of the Cross
Stations in Glasthule Church.
The devotional scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Scapular — an article of Catholic devotion, similar to a religious medal, but composed of two small squares of woollen cloth, joined on a thread. It is usually worn against the skin, with one segment of cloth hanging on the chest, the other hanging on the back. Devotional scapulars are sacramentals, i.e. material things blessed by the Church and thought to encourage particular devotion. They are often worn as a protection against evil.

Wikipedia: Devotional Scapular.
Millais, Angelus
Jean-François Millais, "The Angelus", 1857-59

Angelus — a devotion in memory of the Incarnation, when the Angel Gabriel revealed to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive a child. It is recited three times daily: 6am, noon, and 6pm. At these times, Catholic church bells are rung in a particular manner – a triple stroke repeated three times, with a pause between each set of three (a total of nine strokes), followed by a longer peal. Traditionally in Ireland, all work and play stopped at the ringing of the bells, and the people stood still to recite the particular prayers.

Catholic Encyclopedia: Angelus
Hear the Angelus bells The Angelus prayer

V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae.
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.
Ave Maria ...
V. Ecce ancilla Domini.
R. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.
Ave Maria ...
V. Et Verbum caro factum est.
R. Et habitavit in nobis.
Ave Maria ...
V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus. Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut, qui, angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem ejus et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

Font — a small basin containing holy water fixed near the door to a house. People entering or leaving would dip a finger in the water, and, signing the cross, bless themselves.

Catholic Encyclopedia: Font
rosary beads
Rosary beads

Rosary — a devotional prayer to the Virgin Mary. It is said on a string of beads made up of five sets, each set of one large and ten smaller beads, called decades. On the large beads the "Our Father" is said; on the small ones, the "Hail Mary".

The devotion focuses on fifteen "Mysteries", divided into Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious, taken from the lives of Jesus and Mary.

Recently, a further set of mysteries has been added, the non-traditional "Luminous". cf John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002.

How to say the Rosary

The Rosary is told alone or in a group. When told in a group, one person (the "caller") tells the first half of the prayers and the group responds with the muttered second half. Either the entire Rosary or each decade is preceded with a "Special Intentention", i.e. the particular desire being prayed for. Traditionally, the family Rosary, told kneeling round the evening fire, was a nightly event in Irish Catholic homes.

Usually only one set of Mysteries is told at a time, and each set of Mysteries is allotted its own days of the week.

Trimmings — in Ireland there were also what were called "trimmings". These were additional prayers that the caller, often at seeming whim, attached to the Rosary. They might focus on the day's events, on particularly favoured saints, on the recently departed, on anything really. A good "caller" could keep a Rosary going into the early hours.

Wikipedia: Rosary
Rosary Center: How to Pray the Rosary

Thirty Day Prayer — a particular Catholic devotion involving the saying of a petitionary prayer daily to the Virgin Mary for a period of thirty days. The intention of the prayer, the petitioner's "lawful request", is called out or reflected upon towards the end of the recitation.

"By devoutly reciting this prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary for thirty days, we may mercifully hope to obtain our prayer intention" -

The full prayer at CatholicDoors.

Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque receives her vision

Sacred Heart of Jesus — a Catholic devotion to the physical heart of Jesus, as the representation of His divine love for humanity.

In visions afforded to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a 17th century nun, Jesus vouchsafed certain promises – "He promised me that wherever this image [spec. His Heart of flesh] should be exposed with a view to showing it special honour, He would pour forth His blessings and graces ... The devotion is so pleasing to Him that He can refuse nothing to those who practise it."

Flickr: SteveFE

Pictures of Jesus with heart exposed were usual in Irish Catholic homes. Even the very poorest would have their Sacred Heart on the wall, kept vigil by a red-glassed lamp.

Wikipedia: Sacred Heart
Wikipedia: Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Catholic Encyclopedia: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus