On this day in 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to walk on the moon. They were 240,000 miles from Earth.
As Armstrong set foot on the surface, he famously said: “that’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Buzz Aldrin joined him there a few minutes later. Then, they took terrain photographs, ran tests, planted a American flag, and spoke with President Richard Nixon.
Communion on the Moon
It’s what Aldrin did before exiting Lunar Module (LM) Eagle that is truly remarkable: he took Communion. So, here’s a portion of that story in his own words, as he wrote for Guideposts:
“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 give thanks in his own individual way.”
“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.”
“And so, just before I partook of the elements… I read: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.” John 15:5 (TEV)”