The Lord’s Supper on the Moon

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” These words, known to just about everyone, were spoken by Neil Armstrong as he stepped onto the lunar surface Sunday July 10, 1969. However, a little known fact of history described by Buzz Aldrin in his memoirs, is that one of his first acts after stepping onto the surface of the moon involved partaking of the Lord’s Supper. He wrote, “I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given us.

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 in the last minute Deke Slayton had requested that I do not do this. NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madylyn Murray O’Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon on Christmas. I agreed reluctantly, . . 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 that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there were the communion elements.”

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