Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum Ordinis)

Central to the life and ministry of the priest is the Eucharist. The document says: “The other sacraments, as well as with every ministry of the Church and every work of the apostolate, are tied together with the Eucharist and are directed toward it. The Most Blessed Eucharist contains the entire spiritual boon of the Church, that is, Christ himself, our Pasch and Living Bread, by the action of the Holy Spirit through his very flesh vital and vitalizing, giving life to all who are thus invited and encouraged to offer themselves, their labours and all created things, together with him. In this light, the Eucharist shows itself as the source and the apex of the whole work of preaching the Gospel. Those under instruction are introduced by stages to a sharing in the Eucharist, and the faithful, already marked with the seal of Baptism and Confirmation, are through the reception of the Eucharist fully joined to the Body of Christ.” In this paragraph the importance of the Eucharist is highlighted and what is interesting is to see how the bishops looked at it in the light of the sacraments of initiation. They focus on adults who are joining the Church community — the order in which they receive the sacraments is Baptism, Confirmation and then the Eucharist. In cultures where infant baptism is the norm, more often than not, Eucharist is given before Confirmation.