Yesterday marked the forty-fifth anniversary of the first time humanity set foot on the lunar surface. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin stepped off the spaceship and onto the moon, and thus stepped into history.
What is not as widely known, however, is that it is also the forty-fifth anniversary of the first communion service to occur on the moon.
As the Huffington Post reports, Buzz Aldrin was an elder in his Presbyterian church back in Houston, and wanted to do something to mark the powerful moment when he stepped out onto the moon.
So he obtained consecrated wine and bread from his pastor and took it with him to the moon. Prior to stepping out onto the lunar surface, he ate the bread and drank the wine, after reading a passage from the Gospel of John 15:5: I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me will bear much fruit, for you can do nothing without me.
He wrote later:
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 invite each person listening, 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.”
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.
Read the whole article here.