“Even so let your light shine before men, in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

At Mary Mother of God Church, there are many ways in which the laity have the opportunity to imitate Christ’s ways in their lives by assisting His Church and community in the form of ministry. In rural areas, the Catholic Church relies on the laity to fulfill the many ministries that would otherwise be fulfilled through ordained ministers. Therefore, without the participation of the faithful community in ministery, the Catholic Church could not exist. For this reason, we encourage all — who are able — to find a way to participate in a ministry of the Catholic faith.

There are many ways in which members of the parish can minister to the needs of the Catholic community. The most visible forms of ministry are the ministries of the Mass (liturgical ministries). In order for the Mass to function, the parish community must provide ushers, gift bearers, sacristans, Altar servers, lectors, extraordinary ministers, and cantors.

The parish community must also provide a means of educating the youth in the Truths of the Catholic faith and prepare them for receiving sacraments, which are vital to their salvation. Only with the help of lay catechists is such a task possible.

In addition to the liturgical ministries, the Mary Mother of God Parish community offers other ways for the laity to minister through prayer and service. For example, individuals can join the large community of adorers for Eucharistic Adoration. Individuals can sign up to receive prayer requests for the sick of the parish. They can join the Knights of Columbus or the Altar Society, who provide great opportunities for charity and service in the parish and the Harrison community at large. And laity oftentimes find their own ways of ministering to the community through various forms of community service.

Altar Server

Altar servers are boys and girls who assist in the liturgical functions normally reserved for acolytes. Because there aren’t enough ordained acolytes, diocesan bishops usually permit the use of altar servers to fulfill this role.

Altar servers participate in the liturgical ministry by assisting the priest with various tasks. Servers carry the cross and processional candles at the commencement of Mass. They hold the book for the priest celebrant when he is not at the altar.

Altar servers present bread, wine, and water to the priest during the preparation of the gifts. They assist the priest when he receives the gifts, wash the priest’s hands, and ring a bell as a sign to the faithful.

In general, they assist the priest or deacon as is necessary. At Mary Mother of God Parish and Saint Andrew’s Parish-Mission, we welcome all boys and girls who would like to become altar servers. New servers will receive proper training on the Mass.

For more information, please contact Mary Mother of God Church office.


Catechists are individuals who have accepted a primary role in the teaching ministry of the Church. Within the group of catechists are both those who teach adults and those who teach children and the youth.

At Mary Mother of God Parish, catechists of adult ministry take the form of faith formation leaders. The primary source of lay adult ministry is the Adult Scripture Study program. Those who are seeking to join the Catholic faith as adults or are seeking to receive sacraments of the Church as adults take part in RCIA (Catechumenate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). Fr. Jim Fanrak leads the RCIA program.

The greatest role catechists play at Mary Mother of God Parish and St. Andrew’s Parish-Mission is in the form of teaching children and the youth. Catechists provide religious education for children from Kindergarten to High School .

Catechists are led by a director of religious education and provide quality catechesis to students of the grade level they have been assigned. Catechists are responsible for enriching and guiding the spiritual formation of students. Being aware of the call to proclaim the Good News, catechists aid students’ spiritual development by being witnesses and disciples of Jesus Christ.

For other youth, classes are held after Masses on Wednesday evenings, from 6:30-7:30pm at Mary Mother of God Parish. Mass begins at 5:30pm. For more information and for information regarding religious education at St. Andrew’s Parish in Yellville, please contact the Mary Mother of God Parish Office.

Eucharistic Adoration

adoration“Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the “King of Glory,” respectful silence in the presence of the “ever greater” God. Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2628

During Eucharistic Adoration, we adore God by acknowledging His infinite Goodness and our dependence upon Him for all that we do and our total subjection to His Will. Through Adoration, we express love and thanksgiving for everything Jesus Christ has done and has sacrificed for our salvation.

In adoration, we spend an hour in silence in front of the Holy Eucharist and we meditate, pray, and reflect upon His Goodness. A commitment brings great joy to the Sacred Heart because it shows your love for Jesus Christ.

At Mary Mother of God Church, we are always looking for adorers to fill empty spots during the hours for adoration. However, we welcome all to come and participate in adoration whenever they can.

Can you make a commitment of one hour of adoration each week? Please contact the Mary Mother of God Parish Office.

Gift Bearer

giftsGift bearers are responsible for carrying the bread, wine and offertory collection to the priest and Altar servers during the offertory hymn. Gift bearers are selected by an usher before the commencement of Mass. Gift bearers are usually families with young children and must be appropriately dressed.

If you are interested in becoming a gift bearer, please contact the Mary Mother of God Church office or talk with an usher before a weekend Mass.


lector-mary-mother-of-god-parishLectors proceed toward the Altar with the Altar servers and the presiding priest at the commencement of Mass on weekends. They carry the Gospel to the Altar and carry it out when the Mass ends. Lectors leave with the Altar servers and the priest in the same form as when they came in.

Lectors are responsible for the readings of the Old Testament and New Testament (not the Gospels) during Mass. For weekend Masses, Lectors read both from the Old Testament and the New Testament to the assembly of the faithful. While on weekdays, they usually read one reading from the New Testament and do the responsorial psalms. Usually, a cantor will sing the responsorial psalms for weekend Masses.

Lectors are also responsible for reading the prayers of the faithful after the priest has finished with the homily and the profession of faith has been said. And they make the announcements before Mass begins for weekend celebrations.

If you are interested in becoming a lector, please contact the Mary Mother of God Church office.

Music Ministry

music-ministry-mary-mother-of-god-parishMusic ministry consists of lay persons who assist with all of the necessary music for the Mass. Those in the choir, individual singers, and musicians all play a role in ministering music.

Music is an essential part of the Mass – particularly for weekend Masses. Music is sung and played for the main hymns; which consist of opening hymns, offertory hymns, hymns at communion, and closing hymns.

Music ministry is also important for presenting psalms to the parish as well as singing at specified times during the Eucharistic celebration. Important prayers are also sung. The “Gloria” is just one example.

If you are interested in joining our talented musicians and singers in leading our community in song during weekend Masses, please contact the Mary Mother of God Parish office.