Buzz Aldrin says he did have a communion service on the moon's surface
shortly after landing the Lunar Module "Eagle" on the Sea of
Tranquility. He told the story in an article in Guideposts magazine in
1999, an issue of the publication that commemorated the 20th anniversary
of the lunar landing.
Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first two men to successfully
navigate from the Earth to the Moon, walk on the surface, gather
samples of lunar rocks and return safely to Earth in July of 1969.
The article said that when
the Eagle touched down on the moon on Sunday July 20, 1969. Aldrin took out the communion elements
that he had brought along for the trip and put them on a small table.
He then radioed the Houston Space Center to request a few moments of
Aldrin began his radio transmission
to the Houston Space Center, "This is the (lunar
module) pilot, I'd 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."
At at point, NASA had decided
to blackout the broadcast of the communion service.
From the lunar
Aldrin then read "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me,
and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can
do nothing" (John 15:5, Revised Standard Version). and took communion.
Previously, during an Apollo 8 mission, astronauts
read from the Bible passages from the book of Genesis while in lunar orbit which resulted in a lawsuit filed
by atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hare. The lawsuit was later dismissed.
There does not appear
to have been a 20 year NASA secret about the lunar Communion service,
otherwise Aldrin would not have told about his account in an
October 1970 Guideposts article.