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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Celebrated Communion on the Moon -Truth!
NASA Kept the Lunar
Communion Service a Secret for 20 years- Fiction!
Summary of the eRumor: A forwarded email that says when Astronaut
Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon he called the Houston Space Center to
request a moment of silence and celebrated the Christian sacrament of
Communion. The email also says that this was kept a secret from the
public for two decades.
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.
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
A NASA Little Known Fact
The first food and drink consumed on the moon was the reserved sacrament
of communion. At first, it was kept secret. To mark the 40th anniversary
of the first Apollo moon landing, Bosco Peters has posted the details of
this Christian act of worship 235,000 miles from the earth. The First
Communion on the Moon is now one of The Episcopal Church's 'lesser
feasts and fasts', he writes.
On Sunday July 20, 1969 the first people landed on the moon. Neil
Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were in the lunar lander which touched down at
3:17 Eastern Standard Time. Buzz Aldrin had with him the Reserved
Sacrament. He radioed: “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, whoever or wherever he may be, to
contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give
thanks in his own individual way.”
'Later he wrote: “In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic
packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into
the chalice our church had given me. 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 at the last minute Deke
Slayton had requested that I not do this. NASA was already embroiled in
a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the celebrated opponent of
religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the
moon at Christmas. I agreed reluctantly…Eagle’s metal body creaked. 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: the very first liquid
ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the
'NASA kept this secret for two decades. The memoirs of Buzz Aldrin and
the Tom Hanks’s Emmy-winning HBO mini-series, From the Earth to the Moon
(1998), made people aware of this act of Christian worship 235,000 miles
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