On Sunday July 20, 1969 Americans touched down on the moon at 3:17 AM Eastern Standard Time, with astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin onboard the lunar lander. Just after touch down, Aldrin radioed, “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, whoever or wherever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way.” He had with him the Reserved Sacrament of his Presbyterian Church.
Later he wrote: “In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the Scripture, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit.’ I had intended to read my communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute Deke Slayton had requested that I not do this. NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas. I agreed reluctantly…Eagle’s metal body creaked. I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.” John 15:5
Buzz Aldrin's memoirs and the Tom Hanks’s Emmy- winning HBO mini-series, From the Earth to the Moon (1998), tell us of this act of Christian worship 235,000 miles from Earth. The above YouTube clip shows the Communion scene acted out in the movie.
The sound clips in the following video are from recordings of the astronauts reading from Genesis while orbiting the Moon at Christmas time, the Bible reading that celebrated opponent of Christianity, Madelyn Murray O’Hare had taken the lawsuit against NASA over. This was the reason that Buzz was asked to not read the passage back to Earth. So, he took Communion with God, there on the Moon... just God and the man on the Moon.
NASA had this to say. "Generally the astronauts - twenty-three Protestants and six Catholics - adhered more closely to formal religion than their contemporaries; a high proportion of them served as elders, stewards, deacons, or vestrymen. Presbyterian Aldrin administered holy communion to himself inside Eagle after it landed on the Moon, and when Frank Borman was orbiting the Moon he apologized to his fellow members of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church because his absence made it impossible for him to serve as a lay reader on Christmas Eve. The prayer he did say reached a somewhat larger audience and caused an atheist to sue NASA, unsuccessfully, on a separation-of-state-and-church issue."
(Source http://history.nasa.gov/SP-350/ch-8-4.html A page of NASA's History titled: Apollo's Expeditions to the Moon. http://history.nasa.gov/SP-350/cover.html)
The Visor Shot of Buzz on the Moon from his personal website at http://buzzaldrin.com/
It is striking to know that God is present wherever we will welcome Him. The German Martin Luther once said, "There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage." That is true. Marriage of a man and a woman can bring so much comfort, and a sense of fulness that can carry you through the depths of pain or heartache. But, our relationship with the Creator is an integral part of our being. Buzz Aldrin seemed to have a good relationship with God, seeing that he wanted to carry God with him to the Moon. God...don't leave Earth without Him! Of course, we know that God is everywhere, but is He everywhere within us?
It is also poignant to know that a worship service took place on the Moon, for wherever man is, he ought to worship the Creator of all the Universe.