Moonwalker, Buzz Aldrin Took Holy Communion on the Moon.
When Apollo 11‘s Eagle lunar module landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to do something hard: Wait. They were scheduled to open the door of their lunar lander and step onto the unknown surface of a completely different world. But for now, their mission ordered them to take a pause before the big event.
And so Aldrin spent his time doing something unexpected, something no man had ever attempted before. Alone and overwhelmed by anticipation, he took part in the first Christian sacrament ever performed on the moon—a rite of Christian communion.
Aldrin’s lunar communion has since become shrouded in mystery and confusion, but the rite itself was relatively simple. The astronaut was also an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church, and before he headed into space in 1969, he got special permission to take bread and wine with him to space and give himself communion.
Men had already prayed in space, but Aldrin was about to go one step further—literally and figuratively. Part of his mission was not just to land on the moon, but to walk on it. To prepare, he took communion after the Eagle lunar module landed on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility during an hours-long downtime period designed to let the astronauts recover from their space flight and prepare for their moonwalk.