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Buzz Aldrin Took Holy Communion on the Moon. NASA Kept it Quiet

Buzz Aldrin Took Holy Communion on the Moon. NASA Kept it Quiet

When Apollo 11‘s Eagle lunar module landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to do something hard: Wait. They were scheduled to open the door of their lunar lander and step onto the unknown surface of a completely different world. But for now, their mission ordered them to take a pause before the big event.

And so Aldrin spent his time doing something unexpected, something no man had ever attempted before. Alone and overwhelmed by anticipation, he took part in the first Christian sacrament ever performed on the moon—a rite of Christian communion.

Aldrin’s lunar communion has since become shrouded in mystery and confusion, but the rite itself was relatively simple.The astronaut was also an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church, and before he headed into space in 1969, he got special permission to take bread and wine with him to space and give himself communion.

Men had already prayed in space, but Aldrin was about to go one step further—literally and figuratively. Part of his mission was not just to land on the moon, but to walk on it. To prepare, he took communion after the Eagle lunar module landed on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility during an hours-long downtime period designed to let the astronauts recover from their space flight and prepare for their moon walk.

The mood on the module was sober. Both Armstrong and Aldrin knew how important their mission was. “I was certainly aware that this was a culmination of the work of 300,000 or 400,000 people over a decade and that the nation’s hopes and outward appearance largely rested on how the results came out,” Armstrongrecalled in an oral history.

As the men prepared for the next phase of their mission, Aldrin got on the comm system and spoke to the ground crew back on Earth. “I would like to request a few moments of silence,” hesaid. “I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way.”

Then he reached for the wine and bread he’d brought to space—the first foods ever poured or eaten on the moon. “I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup,” he later wrote. Then, Aldrin read some scripture and ate. Armstrong looked on quietly but did not participate.

Aldrin felt that the service should be broadcast to the entire world. But atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, oncedubbed “the most hated woman in America” for her high-profile activism on behalf of the separation of church and state, indirectly doomed the communion service. A few months earlier, O’Hair hadsued NASA after Apollo 8 astronauts read the Book of Genesis during a broadcast made on Christmas Day 1968, when they became the first humans to orbit the moon.

Though O’Hair’s case was ultimately dismissed, it made an impression on NASA officials, who worried that any overtly religious display might open the agency up to another lawsuit. When Aldrin told the flight crew operations manager about his plans to broadcast his communion service, the manager told him to go ahead and have communion, but “keep your comments more general.”

Though the press didreport the fact that Aldrin would bring communion bread on the spacecraft, he kept the ceremony low-key and, out of respect for the debate over religion on the moon, kept the ceremony confined to the spacecraft and not the surface of the moon.

Aldrin wasn’t the only astronaut to experience religious rituals in space. In 1994, three Catholic astronautstook Holy Communion on board Space Shuttle Endeavor. Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramonreportedly recited the Jewish Shabbat Kiddush prayer in space (he later died when Space Shuttle Columbia exploded in 2003). And Russian cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikovtook a relic of St. Serafim of Sarov, a Russian Orthodox saint, to space in 2017.

The first space communion was only experienced by two men, but it hasn’t been forgotten by the wider world. Lunar Communion Sunday is stillcelebrated annually at Webster Presbyterian and elsewhere to commemorate the event, and Aldrin spoke and wrote about the experience later in life. However, the low-key nature of the ceremony in space itself later led torumors that it happened in secret.

Aldrin may not have resorted to skullduggery to consume communion aboard the lunar module, but he ended up regretting it. In his 2010 memoir, he wrote that he’d come to wonder if he’d done the right thing by celebrating a Christian ritual in space. “We had come to space in the name of all mankind—be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, agnostics, or atheists,” hewrote. “But at the time I could think of no better way to acknowledge the Apollo 11 experience than by giving thanks to God.”


How Buzz Aldrin's communion on the moon was hushed up

Buzz Aldrin stands on the moon, with astronaut Neil Armstrong and lunar module reflected in helmet visor, during historic first walk on lunar surface. Photograph: Nasa/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Buzz Aldrin stands on the moon, with astronaut Neil Armstrong and lunar module reflected in helmet visor, during historic first walk on lunar surface. Photograph: Nasa/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Neil Armstrong will be remembered at Washington National Cathedral today. It's a good moment to look at one eccentric Apollo story: the tale of Aldrin's hushed-up communion on the moon.

Before Armstrong and Aldrin stepped out of the lunar module on July 20, 1969, Aldrin unstowed a small plastic container of wine and some bread. He had brought them to the moon from Webster Presbyterian church near Houston, where he was an elder. Aldrin had received permission from the Presbyterian church's general assembly to administer it to himself. In his book Magnificent Desolation he shares the message he then radioed to Nasa: "I would like to request a few moments of silence … and to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way."

He then ate and drank the elements. The surreal ceremony is described in an article by Aldrin in a 1970 copy of Guideposts magazine: "I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements."

He also read a section of the gospel of John. During it all, Armstrong, reportedly a deist, is said to have watched respectfully but without making any comment.

The story of the secret communion service only emerged after the mission. Aldrin had originally planned to share the event with the world over the radio. However, at the time Nasa was still reeling from a lawsuit filed by the firebrand atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, resulting in the ceremony never being broadcast. The founder of American Atheists and self-titled "most hated woman in America" had taken on Nasa, as well as many other public organisation. Most famously, she successfully fought mandatory school prayer and bible recitation in US public schools.

After the Apollo 8 crew had read out the Genesis creation account in orbit, O'Hair wanted a ban on Nasa astronauts practising religion on earth, in space or "around and about the moon" while on duty. She believed it violated the constitutional separation between church and state. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin explains how astronaut Deke Slayton, who ran the Apollo 11 flight crew operations, told him to tone down his lunar communiqué. "Go ahead and have communion, but keep your comments more general," he advised. Looking back Aldrin writes that the communion was his way of thanking God for the success of the mission. Yet, later he hinted that he could have been more inclusive:

"Perhaps, if I had it to do over again, I would not choose to celebrate communion.
Although it was a deeply meaningful experience for me, it was a Christian sacrament, and we had come to the moon in the name of all mankind – be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, agnostics, or atheists."

O'Hair's case against Nasa eventually fizzled out, but it dramatically changed the tone of the Apollo 11 landing. Aldrin had originally intended a much more pioneering Christopher Columbus-style ceremony on the moon. That was never to be.

But at Webster Presbyterian church – the spiritual home of many astronauts – Aldrin's communion service is still celebrated every July, known as Lunar Communion Sunday. Pastor Helen DeLeon told me how they replay the tape of Aldrin on the moon and recite Psalm eight, which he had quoted on his return trip to Earth ("… what is man that thou art mindful of him"). The church still holds the chalice that Aldrin brought back with him. Judy Allton, a geologist and historian of Webster Presbyterian church, produced a paper, presented at a Nasa conference, arguing that communion could be an essential part of future manned space travel. She claims that rituals such as Aldrin's communion "reinforce the homelink".

And as for O'Hair? History was unkind. She disappeared in 1995 along with her son Jon and granddaughter Robin Murray. After a long hunt, their dismembered and charred bodies were found in a field. Authorities believe that David Waters, a former employee of O'Hair, masterminded a plot to rob and murder O'Hair. Her born-again son, William Murray, who lost not only his mother but also his brother and daughter to Waters and his associates, has spoken very strongly about his upbringing under O'Hair. He mourns his family but believes his mother was pumped up by her own hype and was even evil. In a statement given in 1999 he said, "she honestly believed she had singlehandedly removed prayer from school. She honestly believed she had 'liberated' America sexually". Whatever we make of Murray's criticisms, it appears O'Hair was a woman on a mission in the 60s and 70s. Having taken on the world, O'Hair believed it was perfectly plausible to take on space.


5 faith facts about the moon landing: Space Communion and a prayer league of its own

(RNS) — Where humans go, faith seems to follow. It’s no less true of NASA’s first manned mission to land on the moon, when astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins made their way farther into the heavens than anyone had gone before.

Here are five faith facts about the moon landing, which half a century later still inspires awe and wonder in people of all faiths and no faith.

1. Aldrin took Communion aboard the Eagle lunar lander.

When Aldrin first floated the idea of celebrating Communion during the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, NASA administrators responded with skepticism. The agency had already fended off a lawsuit filed after astronauts broadcast themselves reading from the Book of Genesis during the Apollo 8 mission, which atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair derided as a violation of the separation of church and state. (Her case was ultimately dismissed.)

But Aldrin, who would later describe the mission as “part of God’s eternal plan for man,” was insistent, and officials eventually granted him permission to hold a service under the condition that he keep it quiet. 

Aldrin then approached the pastor of his church — the Rev. Dean Woodruff of Webster Presbyterian Church near Houston — about the idea, where the questions shifted from legal to theological.

Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, egresses the lunar module and begins to descend the ladder as he prepares to walk on the moon. Photo by Neil Armstrong/NASA/Creative Commons

Although Aldrin was an ordained Presbyterian elder, it was unclear whether he would be allowed to oversee Communion on his own. But when his pastor asked the Presbyterian Church’s stated clerk, one of the highest positions in the denomination, the official offered a quick yes. Woodruff then procured a small silver cup for Aldrin to carry into orbit, making sure that it would fit the weight requirements.

The plan finally came to fruition shortly after the Eagle lunar lander touched down on the moon on July 20, 1969. Sitting next to Armstrong, Aldrin pulled out the chalice, wine and bread from his “personal preference kit,” then spoke into the radio.

“This is the LM pilot,” he said, referring to the lunar module. “I would like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

(Above: Audio of Buzz Aldrin giving thanks shortly before conducting Communion while on the moon. Audio courtesy the Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal)

Aldrin took a moment to read silently from John 15:5, which he had scrawled on a 3-by-5-inch card: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit for you can do nothing without me.”

The astronaut then set about performing the Christian ritual alone (Armstrong did not partake), making him the first person to celebrate a religious rite on a heavenly body other than Earth.

“I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me,” he recalled in a 1970 article for Guideposts magazine . “In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.”

2. The “church of the astronauts” still celebrates Lunar Communion Sunday.

Webster Presbyterian Church still celebrates Lunar Communion Sunday every year on the Sunday closest to the July 20 anniversary of the moon landing.

According to the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of the General Assembly, Webster Presbyterian has been called the “church of the astronauts.” It’s been the spiritual home of many astronauts and employees from the nearby Johnson Space Center, including John Glenn, one of NASA’s original Mercury Seven astronauts and the first American to orbit the Earth, and Jack Kinzler, who engineered the American flag Aldrin and Armstrong planted on the moon so it would wave in space.

Aldrin’s celebration of Communion aboard the Eagle “as an extension of our congregation” is one of the milestones in the church’s 126-year history, according to its website .

To this day, Lunar Communion Sunday at Webster Presbyterian includes a reading of a passage from Psalm 8: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” The passage was one of two Aldrin read in space, and Webster Presbyterian had read it during its service on the day of the moon landing, according to a 2014 report in the Houston Chronicle .

Clay Anderson, a retired astronaut who served aboard the International Space Station, will preach at this year’s anniversary celebration, according to the church website.

The church also displays a replica of the chalice Aldrin used. The real one is in a bank vault, according to the Chronicle.

3. The pope blessed the Apollo 11 astronauts.

Like millions of people around the world, the pope at the time, St. Paul VI, watched the moon landing on television.

The pope, however, had a special vantage point. He watched it at the Vatican Observatory, even peering through its primary telescope to view the moon where the astronauts stood, imperceptible even to the powerful instrument, according to the Vatican Observatory Foundation website .

Pope Paul VI watches the Apollo 11 moon landing news coverage from the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on July 20, 1969. Photo courtesy of Vatican Observatory

He then greeted and blessed the astronauts in English:

“Here, from His Observatory at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, Pope Paul the Sixth is speaking to you astronauts.

“Honour, greetings and blessings to you, conquerors of the Moon, pale lamp of our nights and (our) dreams! Bring to her, with your living presence, the voice of the spirit, a hymn to God, our Creator and our Father.

“We are close to you, with our good wishes and with our prayers. Together with the whole Catholic Church, Pope (Paul) the Sixth salutes you.”

The pope later met the Apollo 11 astronauts and their wives at the Vatican.

4. There was an Apollo Prayer League.

Although Aldrin kept his Communion on the moon quiet for years, he had spiritual backup.

This interior view of the Apollo 11 lunar module shows astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. during the lunar landing mission. Photo by Neil Armstrong/NASA/Creative Commons

When O’Hair filed her lawsuit alleging Apollo 8 astronauts violated the U.S. Constitution’s establishment clause by reading from the Book of Genesis while in orbit, a group that called itself the Apollo Prayer League leapt to the astronauts’ defense. The League eventually accrued more than 8 million signatures and letters championing the religious freedom of astronauts, according to Wired .

The group was formed years earlier by NASA’s then-chaplain, a scientist and Presbyterian minister named John Maxwell Stout, and his wife, Helen, in the wake of the Apollo 1 fire that killed three astronauts. The final wishes of one of the felled astronauts, Ed White II, included putting a Bible on the moon, a mission Stout took up in his honor.

5. The Bible got to the moon (eventually).

Aldrin brought a scrap of Scripture with him to the lunar surface, likely because a full printed copy of the holy book did not fit within NASA’s stringent weight requirements. So the Apollo Prayer League, determined to land a Bible on the moon, created microfilm versions of the Bible.

The microform copy of the Apollo 14 lunar-landed King James Bible and other related items. Image courtesy of Nate D. Sanders Auctions

Even so, landing one on Earth’s natural satellite proved tricky. The first two attempts failed: Apollo 12 astronauts mistakenly stowed a single microfilm Bible in the orbiter instead of the lander, and while Apollo 13 also carried microfilm Bibles aboard (reportedly presented to the astronauts by then-U.S. Rep. George H.W. Bush ), that mission famously never landed on the moon due to a mechanical malfunction.

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, however, managed to lug 100 microfilm Bibles to the surface of the moon with him during the Apollo 14 mission and returned them to Earth.

The Bibles survive to this day and are often subject to heated bidding wars at auction, each fetching as much as $50,000.


This week marks the 50 th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. On July 20, 1969, the world watched as astronaut Neil Armstrong planted his foot on the moon’s powdery surface, and spoke his famous quote, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

From July 16 th , when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins took off from Kennedy Space Center, until July 24 th , when they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, millions were enthralled with the historic flight.

But they did not know all the details about that momentous occasion. NASA kept a few details quiet, including how Buzz Aldrin took communion while on the surface of the moon.

Now Neil and I were sitting inside Eagle, while Mike circled in lunar orbit, unseen in the black sky above us. In a little while after our scheduled meal period, Neil would give the signal to step down the ladder onto the powdery surface of the moon. Now was the moment for communion.

So I unstowed the elements in their flight packets. I put them and the scripture reading on the little table in front of the abort guidance-system computer.

Then I called back to Houston.

“Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM Pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way.”

For me this meant taking communion. In the radio blackout I opened the little plastic packages which contained bread and wine.

I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.

And so, just before I partook of the elements, I read the words which I had chosen to indicate our trust that as man probes into space we are in fact acting in Christ.

I sensed especially strongly my unity with our church back home, and with the Church everywhere.

I read: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit for you can do nothing without me.” John 15:5 (TEV)


First meal on the moon: how Buzz Aldrin took communion (and why NASA hushed it up)

Almost everyone knows Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first people to stand on the moon. Almost everyone knows what Armstrong said: 'That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.' But how many know what Buzz Aldrin did before they stepped out on to the moon's surface?

Aldrin was a convinced Christian and an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas. Before the flight he had wondered about how to mark the landing. He wrote in an article for Guideposts magazine in 1970 that his pastor Dean Woodruff had told him 'God reveals himself in the common elements of everyday life' &ndash like bread and wine. Woodruff gave him a silver chalice to take with him on the flight, and there was just enough gravity for him to be able to pour the wine from a plastic container.

He wrote in Guideposts: 'In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.'

He also read from John 15.5: 'I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit, for you can do nothing without me.'

Before he took communion, he radioed back to NASA: 'I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way.' NASA kept quiet about what he was actually doing, though. It was bruised by the activities of atheist campaigner Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who had fought a series of court battles &ndash all of which she lost &ndash against it because the crew of a previous mission, Apollo 8, had read out the creation story from Genesis during their orbit. She thought it violated the constitutional division between church and state.

The Bible and the moon have a lot more history besides all that, though. Three hundred microfilmed King James Versions were carried on the Apollo 14 mission at the instigation of the Apollo Prayer League, 100 of which went down to the moon in the lunar module with astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

There's also a paper Bible still on the moon it's on the dashboard of an abandoned lunar rover and was left there by Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott.


Buzz Aldrin Took Holy Communion on the Moon. NASA Kept it Quiet - HISTORY

Occasionally a claim comes across our desks here at PolitiFact Georgia that seems to touch all bases -- this one has God, politics and even men landing on the moon.

The claim hinted at political ramifications and a possible government cover-up.

And it was broadcast as a viral Facebook post. What more could a fact-checker ask for?

So let’s go back a bit, to 1969 and man’s first landing on the moon, a feat that seemed almost magical to anyone watching and listening.

"Not many people know it but on July 20, 1969, Buzz Aldrin took communion on the moon. The very first meal ever taken on the moon was the blood and body of Christ!" the Facebook post read.

We had heard about astronauts partaking of freeze-dried food and dehydrated drinks.

And we knew about the Apollo 8 crew on Christmas Eve 1968 reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon, an event heard by millions. But the Holy Communion claim was new to us. We decided to do some exploring of our own.

The Facebook post about Aldrin led to a post on the JesusLovesYou.org website, a member of the Greater Good Network of websites. The sites promote numerous nonprofit organizations for contributions.

That post references Aldrin’s comments on the experience: "I had intended to read my communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute [they] had requested that I not do this," Aldrin said. "NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O’Hare (sic), the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon Christmas (Eve in 1968). I agreed reluctantly."

So, is that why we hadn’t heard about the moon service? Did NASA, under pressure from an atheist activist, try to keep the Christian observance a secret?

Our research on this claim led to several sources about the holy meal, but we wanted to hear directly from Aldrin himself. Aldrin was part of the Apollo 11 space mission that put the first people on the moon on July 20, 1969. He was the second person to walk on the moon, following fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong.


TIL Buzz Aldrin gave Holy Communion to himself while on the Moon and NASA kept it quiet.

The event is portrayed in the incredible series From The Earth To The Moon.

I mean, is there a reason to publicize it? His religion had no bearing on anything, and as long as it didn't affect the mission, I see no point in it being mentioned anywhere. Especially if he's not super public about his personal life.

The crew of Apollo 8 got sued for reading from Genesis while they were broadcasting in lunar orbit, so NASA was skittish about overtly religious broadcasts afterwards.

Well in a world where everyone wants to be the first to do something, it’s quite an interesting first to omit.

This is gonna be one of those threads to sort by controversial isn’t it

The least interesting thing about this story is whether or not Buzz Aldrin's beliefs were true or false, yet, somehow, the comments section will be filled with arguments about it.

I always heard you would go blind doing that.

Just don't look directly at it.

Drank wine, low hravity, felt Buzzed.

Hurr durr Christianity is backwards

Literally every astronaut back then was a devout Christian

All of the rocket designers minus Jack Parsons were devout Christians

All of the ground crew were devout Christians

Yeah but Richard Dawkins debated a handpicked person that doesn't believe in dinosaurs. Case closed.


Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin carries equipment for the Passive Seismic Experiments (in his left hand) and the Laser Ranging Retroreflector (in his right) to the deployment area at Tranquility Base in the Sea of Tranquility on the moon, July 20, 1969. (Photo: Neil Armstrong/NASA/Handout via Reuters)

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon, a major milestone in human history. As Neil Armstrong noted, as he stepped on the lunar surface, "One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon, as they explored it for some 21 hours.

What was the first meal on the moon? It may surprise you to know that it was bread and wine in a one-person celebration of the Lord's Table. As Neil Armstrong respectfully looked on, fellow Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin marked the incredible occasion by celebrating Holy Communion---communing between him and God. This was before they stepped out of the "Eagle," the lunar module, to walk around on the moon.

In the October 1970 issue of Guideposts magazine, Aldrin tells of the experience: "For several weeks prior to the scheduled lift-off of Apollo 11 back in July, 1969, the pastor of our church, Dean Woodruff, and I had been struggling to find the right symbol for the first lunar landing."

Buzz Aldrin was an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church in the greater Houston area. Pastor Woodruff told him that, "God reveals Himself in the common elements of everyday life." That would include bread and wine, the elements of the Lord's Table, a celebration of Christ's death on behalf of sinners.

The idea of communion on the moon was Aldrin's. He writes: "I wondered if it might be possible to take communion on the moon, symbolizing the thought that God was revealing Himself there too, as man reached out into the universe. For there are many of us in the NASA program who do trust that what we are doing is part of God's eternal plan for man. I spoke with Dean about the idea. and he was enthusiastic."

They decided that while Aldrin served himself communion on the moon, his church back home on earth would be participating in communion at roughly the same time.

But, even though he was an elder, would he have permission from the church to serve himself the elements? Pastor Woodruff inquired of the stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly and received a swift okay.

Apollo 11 landed on the moon on the afternoon of Sunday, July 20, 1969. Astronaut Mike Collins was circling at that time, in the words of Aldrin, "in lunar orbit, unseen in the black sky above us" in the command module, while Armstrong and Aldrin were in the lunar module.

On my radio show, I spoke about this little-known incident of the first meal on the moon with Bill Federer, historian and bestselling author. Said Bill, "Buzz Aldrin was such a famous astronaut that the Toy Story character was named after him, Buzz Lightyear."

Bill notes, "Before they stepped [onto the moon], they had a rest time. And they turned to radio silence."

Aldrin was the one who requested the radio silence, saying: "Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM Pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way."

Federer notes that earlier, when the Apollo 8 was in outer space at Christmastime 1968, the crew had read from Genesis 1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. " Alas, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the famous atheist, sued NASA for this incident. Perhaps this lawsuit inspired the radio silence Aldrin requested.

In any event, Aldrin tells of his plan "to give thanks" for this incredible moment: "For me this meant taking communion." That is very fitting, since historically, communion was called the Eucharist, derived from the Greek word for thanksgiving---in gratitude to Jesus for His sacrifice.

Aldrin continues, "In the radio blackout I opened the little plastic packages which contained bread and wine." His church back home had given him a little chalice. As he poured the wine into the chalice, he notes, "In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup."

The Bible passage that Aldrin chose to read were the words of Jesus from John 15:5: "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit for you can do nothing without me" (TEV).

Aldrin added: "It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements." As I write all this, I keep hearing the words of Paul Harvey, longtime radio broadcaster, "And now you know the rest of the story."

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is an on-air host/senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 28 books, e.g., The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, Doubting Thomas (w/ Mark Beliles, on Jefferson), and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy) & the bestseller, George Washington's Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback) djkm.org @newcombejerry www.jerrynewcombe.com


First meal on the moon: Buzz Aldrin’s moon communion

But how many know what Buzz Aldrin did before they stepped out on to the moon’s surface?

Aldrin was an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas. Before the flight he had wondered about how to mark the landing. He wrote in an article for Guideposts magazine in 1970 that his pastor Dean Woodruff had told him ‘God reveals himself in the common elements of everyday life’ – like bread and wine. Woodruff gave him a silver chalice to take with him on the flight, and there was just enough gravity for him to be able to pour the wine from a plastic container.

He wrote in Guideposts: ‘In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.’

He also read from John 15:5: ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit, for you can do nothing without me.’

Before he took communion, he radioed back to NASA: ‘I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way.’ NASA kept quiet about what he was actually doing, though. It was bruised by the activities of atheist campaigner Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who had fought a series of court battles – all of which she lost – against it because the crew of a previous mission, Apollo 8, had read out the creation story from Genesis during their orbit. She thought it violated the constitutional division between church and state.

The Bible and the moon have a lot more history besides all that, though. Three hundred microfilmed King James Versions were carried on the Apollo 14 mission at the instigation of the Apollo Prayer League, 100 of which went down to the moon in the lunar module with astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

There’s also a paper Bible still on the moon it’s on the dashboard of an abandoned lunar rover and was left there by Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott.

Author: Mark Woods, 20 July 2019. Story taken from British and Foreign Bible Society.


First meal on the moon: how Buzz Aldrin took communion (and why NASA hushed it up)

Almost everyone knows Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first people to stand on the moon. Almost everyone knows what Armstrong said: 'That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.' But how many know what Buzz Aldrin did before they stepped out on to the moon's surface?

Aldrin was a convinced Christian and an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas. Before the flight he had wondered about how to mark the landing. He wrote in an article for Guideposts magazine in 1970 that his pastor Dean Woodruff had told him 'God reveals himself in the common elements of everyday life' &ndash like bread and wine. Woodruff gave him a silver chalice to take with him on the flight, and there was just enough gravity for him to be able to pour the wine from a plastic container.

He wrote in Guideposts: 'In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.'

He also read from John 15.5: 'I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit, for you can do nothing without me.'

Before he took communion, he radioed back to NASA: 'I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way.' NASA kept quiet about what he was actually doing, though. It was bruised by the activities of atheist campaigner Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who had fought a series of court battles &ndash all of which she lost &ndash against it because the crew of a previous mission, Apollo 8, had read out the creation story from Genesis during their orbit. She thought it violated the constitutional division between church and state.

The Bible and the moon have a lot more history besides all that, though. Three hundred microfilmed King James Versions were carried on the Apollo 14 mission at the instigation of the Apollo Prayer League, 100 of which went down to the moon in the lunar module with astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

There's also a paper Bible still on the moon it's on the dashboard of an abandoned lunar rover and was left there by Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott.


Watch the video: The Power Of The Holy Communion. Joseph prince (January 2022).