The rosary follows a prescribed order of prayers that correspond to each bead on the rosary. Meditation on events in the life of Jesus and Mary from the Bible is an important element of the prayer.
The rosary is collection of beads with a cross on the end. The beads are in five sets or decades with an additional separate bead between each decade. The decades represent 10 recitations of the Hail Mary, while the beads in between each decade represent the Lord's Prayer.
You start praying the rosary by making the sign of the cross and saying the Apostles' Creed. Four beads stand in between this creed and the five decades. These four beads represent one Lord's Prayer and three Hail Marys. You then proceed to pray the five decades of Hail Marys with the Lord's Prayer in between each decade. Preceding each decade is also a Glory Be, O My Jesus and a meditation on one of the mysteries.
The mysteries of the rosary are four collections of five mysteries that offer a moment of meditation between decades. These mysteries draw from scriptural episodes in the lives of Jesus and Mary and in categories of the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous mysteries. Each of these collections corresponds to a certain day in the week.