Rosary TermsThe rosary expresses the idea of a permanent garden of prayer. It is used to count the prayers recited in honor of the Virgin Mary while one meditates on scenes of the life of Christ and his mother. This exercise is traditionally repeated three times a day. The typical rosary contains 59 beads—six large and 53 small. They are arranged into five decades of 10 small beads and one large bead each plus a pendant of one large and three small beads that terminates in a cross. http://anthromuseum.missouri.edu/minigalleries/prayerbeads/intro.shtml Originally the rosary consisted of three chaplets (garlands of 55 to 59 beads) each composed of 15 decades (groups of ten small beads known as Ave) and 15 bigger beads called Paternosters. The rosary entails the Joyfol, Sorrowful and glorious Mysteries.