The rosary is a series of prayers recited in a prescribed order and number of repetitions. In order, the series contains the following prayers: one Apostles' Creed, one Our Father, three Hail Marys, one Glory Be, five repetitions of one Our Father, ten Hail Marys and one Glory Be.
The basic structure of the rosary can be supplemented by other prayers and scriptures that are sometimes used in its recitation. For example, the five repetitions of one Our Father and ten Hail Marys—called “decades”—are grouped into four different “Mysteries” for different days of the week: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous. Additional special prayers such as the Decade Prayer or prayers for individuals like the Pope or family members may also be included.
The word "rosary" comes from the Latin word for “a crown of roses." Recited by many on a daily basis, the rosary is primarily, but not exclusively, a Catholic prayer. The Dominican Sisters of the Perpetual Rosary describe the prayer as “a prayer of great beauty, loved by the people.” The rosary is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus in Christian doctrine and a figurehead in Catholic teachings. Often, rosary beads are used as aids in memory and counting.