In this story indigenous October 1970, Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin reveals that the an initial liquid poured and also the very first food eaten on the moon to be communion elements.

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by Buzz AldrinFrom

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Posted in detect Life Purpose


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For number of weeks before the scheduled lift-off the Apollo 11 back in July, 1969, the pastor of ours church, Dean Woodruff, and also I had actually been struggling to uncover the appropriate symbol for the an initial lunar landing.

We want to express our feeling that what male was doing in this mission transcended electronics and computers and also rockets.

Dean often speaks at our church, Webster Presbyterian, just outside of Houston, around the numerous meanings of the communion service.

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"One of the major symbols," Dean says, "is the God reveals self in the common aspects of day-to-day life." Traditionally, these elements are bread and also wine–common foodstuffs in holy bible days and also typical commodities of masculine labor.

One job while i was at Cape Kennedy working v the innovative tools that the space effort, it emerged to me that these devices were the typical aspects of life today.

I wondered if it can be possible to take communion top top the moon, symbolizing the thought that God was revealing self there too, as man reached out right into the universe. Because that there are plenty of of us in the NASA routine who do trust that what we room doing is part of oh my god eternal arrangement for man.

I spoke with Dean about the idea as soon as I went back home, and he was enthusiastic.

"I could carry the bread in a plastic packet, the means regular inflight food is wrapped. And also the alcohol also–there will be just sufficient gravity top top the moon for fluid to pour. I’ll have the ability to drink typically from a cup.

"Dean, i wonder if you can look around for a small chalice the I can take with me as coming indigenous the church?"

The next week Dean proved me a graceful silver- cup. I hefted it and also was pleased to find that it to be light enough to take along. Every astronaut is allowed a few personal item on a flight; the wine chalice would certainly be in my personal-preference kit.


Dean made plans for two special communion services at Webster Presbyterian Church. One would be held just prior to my leave Houston because that Cape Kennedy, when I would join the various other members in a dedication service.

The second would take location two mainly later, Sunday, July 20, as soon as Neil Armstrong and also I were reserved to be on the surface ar of the moon.

On the Sunday the church ago home would gather for communion, while i joined them together close as possible to the exact same hour, acquisition communion inside the lunar module, all of us an interpretation to stand for in this small means not only our regional church however the Church as a whole.

Right away concerns came up. Was it theologically correct because that a layman to offer himself communion under these circumstances? Dean believed so, but to make sure he made decision to compose the declared clerk that the Presbyterian church’s general Assembly and also got ago a quick reply the this to be permissible.

And exactly how much must we talk around our plans? ns am normally rather reticent, however on the various other hand ns was becoming increasingly encouraged that having spiritual convictions brought with that the obligation of witnessing come them.

Finally we made decision we would certainly say nothing about the communion service until after the moonshot.

I had a question about which scriptural i to use. Which reading would finest capture what this enterprise supposed to us? I assumed long around this and also came up at last v John 15:5. It seemed to fit perfectly.

I wrote the passage on a on slide of paper to be brought aboard Eagle in addition to the communion elements. Dean would check out the exact same passage in ~ the complete congregation organization held back home that very same day.

So in ~ last we were set. And then problem appeared. It to be Saturday, just prior come the an initial of the two communion services. The next day Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins and also I were to depart Houston because that Cape Kennedy.

We were booked for a pre-mission press conference when the trip physician come and set up sophisticated precautions versus crew contamination. We had to wear sterile masks and also to talk to the reporters from in ~ a special partition.

The medical professional was taking no chances. A cold germ, a flu virus, and also the entirety shot can have to it is in aborted. I felt I had to tell him about the huge church service scheduled for the following morning. Once I did, he no at every happy.

I dubbed Dean v the news late Saturday night. "It no look real good, Dean."

"What about a exclusive service? without the totality congregation?"

It was a possibility. I referred to as the doctor around the smaller sized service, and he agreed, listed there were just a grasp of civilization present.

So the following day, Sunday, soon after the end of the 11 o’clock organization my wife, Joan, and also our oldest boy, Mike (the only one of our three children who was together yet a communicant), went to the church. There us met Dean, his wife, Floy, and our close family friend Tom Manison, elder of the church, and also his wife.

The 7 of us got in the now-empty sanctuary. ~ above the communion table were 2 loaves of bread, one for now, the various other for two weeks native now. Next to the 2 loaves were two chalices, one of them the tiny cup the church was providing me because that the business on the moon.

We take it communion. In ~ the end of the service, Dean tore off a corner of the second loaf the bread and handed it come me in addition to the small chalice. In ~ a few hours, ns was top top my means to Cape Kennedy.

What occurred there, the course, the whole human being knows. The Saturn 5 rocket offered us a stormy ride in ~ first, but the remainder of the pilgrimage was smooth. Top top the day of the moon landing, we awoke in ~ 5:30 a.m., Houston time.

Neil and I separated indigenous Mike Collins in the command module. Our it is provided descent was ideal on schedule, and perfect except for one unforeseeable difficulty. The automatically guidance device would have actually taken Eagle come an area with large boulders. Neil had actually to steer Eagle come a much more suitable terrain.

With only seconds’ precious of fuel left, us touched under at 3:30 p.m.

Now Neil and I to be sitting within Eagle, while Mike circled in lunar orbit, unseen in the black sky above us. In a tiny while ~ our reserved meal period, Neil would provide the signal to step down the ladder ~ above the powdery surface of the moon. Now was the minute for communion.

So i unstowed the facets in their trip packets. I placed them and also the scripture analysis on the tiny table in former of the abort guidance-system computer.

Then i called back to Houston.

"Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM Pilot speaking. Ns would favor to request a couple of moments of silence. Ns would choose to invite each human listening in, wherever and whomever he might be, come contemplate for a minute the occasions of the past couple of hours and to offer thanks in his own individual way."

For me this expected taking communion. In the radio blackout I opened up the tiny plastic packages which included bread and also wine. See this site for a good example.

I poured the wine into the chalice our church had provided me. In the one-sixth heaviness of the moon the alcohol curled slowly and gracefully up the next of the cup. That was interesting to think that the very an initial liquid ever before poured top top the moon, and also the first food eaten there, were communion elements.

And so, just before I partook that the elements, I read the words i beg your pardon I had chosen to show our trust the as man probes into space we are in fact acting in Christ.

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I sensed specifically strongly mine unity through our church back home, and also with the Church everywhere.

I read: "I to be the vine, you space the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear lot fruit; for you can do nothing there is no me." john 15:5 (TEV)