Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Took Communion on the Moon

The first meal on the moon was bread and wine

Fifty years ago, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong infamously said when stepping onto the lunar surface, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored the moon for 21 hours after planting the American flag.

The first meal eaten on the moon was bread and wine as part of one man’s celebration of the Lord’s table. Buzz Aldrin commemorated the occasion by celebrating Holy Communion as Neil Armstrong respectfully looked on. Aldrin did this before him, and Armstrong stepped out of the “Eagle” to walk on the moon.

Aldrin was a senior at the Houston’s Webster Presbyterian Church. In the weeks leading up to the lift-off of the Apollo 11, the pastor of his church, Dean Woodruff, and Aldrin were trying to find the right symbol for the first lunar landing.

Pastor Woodruff then told Aldrin that God reveals Himself in the common elements of everyday life. This includes bread as well as wine. Communion on the moon was Aldrin’s idea. Aldrin wrote that he wanted “communion on the moon as he thought it symbolized that God was revealing Himself too as mankind reached out into the universe.” Aldrin went on to write that there are many in the NASA program who believe that what they’re doing is “part of God’s eternal plan for man.” When Aldrin spoke to Dean about it, Dean was enthusiastic about the idea.

After touching down on the moon on July 20, 1969, Aldrin pulled out his chalice, wine, and bread and then spoke into the radio. He said, “This is the LM pilot speaking.” He went on to say, “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.”

This moment was an incredible one for all of humanity as well as religion.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter