Many Catholic organizations offer instructions on how to pray the rosary. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, for example, provides step-by-step rosary instructions online at USCCB.org. Similarly, the Eternal Word Television Network, a Catholic television station, provides instructions for praying the rosary on its website, EWTN.com.
To pray the rosary, first make the sign of the cross. Next, take hold of the crucifix and recite the Apostle's Creed. On the first bead above the crucifix, recite the Lord's Prayer. On each of the three beads above that, recite the Hail Mary prayer. Above those beads is a larger bead upon which an individual recites Glory Be.
Before praying each of the rosary's five decades, recite the Lord's Prayer and reflect upon one of the four sets of mysteries. Pray the five Joyful Mysteries on the Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays of Advent; these consist of "the annunciation," "the visitation," "the nativity," "the presentation in the Temple" and "the finding in the Temple." Pray the five Sorrowful Mysteries on the Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays of Lent; these consist of "the agony in the garden," "the scourging at the pillar," "the crowning with thorns," "the carrying of the cross" and "the crucifixion and death." Pray the five Glorious Mysteries on Wednesdays and Sundays outside of Lent and Advent; these consist of "the resurrection," "the ascension," "the descent of the Holy Spirit," "the assumption" and "the coronation of Mary." Pray the five Luminous Mysteries on Thursday; these consist of "the baptism of Christ in the Jordan," "the wedding feast at Cana," "Jesus' proclamation of the coming of the Kingdom of God," "the transfiguration" and "the institution of the Eucharist."
Each decade consists of 10 Hail Mary prayers followed by a Glory Be.