When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon 45 years ago, Aldrin took communion to commemorate the moment.
Aldrin initially wanted to broadcast the sacrament along with other parts of the mission, but NASA stopped the communion from airing because of a lawsuit with an atheist it was involved in at the time, according to the Huffington Post.
Aldrin was heavily involved in the Webster Presbyterian Church in Texas when he left for the moon. His pastor, Dean Woodruff, and Aldrin talked about using communion as a way to show that the mission to the moon was more than just a technological feat.
In Guideposts magazine, Aldrin wrote about the communion. He described the scene and what he said when man took the first step on the moon.
“Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM Pilot speaking,” Aldrin wrote. “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 retrospect, Aldrin wrote that he wished he had found a way to celebrate the moon landing in a way that everyone could relate to.
“Perhaps if I had it to do over again, I would not choose to celebrate communion,” he wrote. “Although it was a deeply meaningful experience for me, it was a Christian sacrament, and we had come to the moon in the name of all mankind—be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, agnostics or atheists.”
Source: Huffington Post