50 Years Ago, Man Celebrated Holy Communion on the Moon

ChurchLeaders | 7/17/2019 | Staff
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This Saturday mankind will celebrate the 50th anniversary of humans landing on the moon. On July 20, 1969, two American astronauts stepped on the moon—a first for the humble inhabitants of Earth. While the accomplishment spoke to the incredible potential of scientific thought and human ingenuity, the mission also included a sacred moment of acknowledging mankind’s dependence on God’s provision and mercy.

“The very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements,” Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin wrote in an article for Guideposts in 1970.

Astronauts - Neil - Armstrong - Michael - Collins

Before he launched off with fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins on the Apollo 11 mission, Aldrin thought about the significance of being one of the first people on the moon. Aldrin talked over “the right symbol” he could bring with him with the pastor of the church he attended near Houston, Texas. Just weeks before the scheduled launch, Aldrin had an idea: He could conduct a simple communion service in the lunar module.

Aldrin believed the gesture would symbolize “the thought that God was revealing Himself there too, as man reached out into the universe.”

Pastor - Dean - Woodruff - Leader - Webster

Pastor Dean Woodruff was the leader of Webster Presbyterian Church, where Aldrin served as an elder in 1969. Woodruff was on board with Aldrin’s idea of “lunar communion”, although a question arose as to whether it was permissible for a lay person to administer Holy Communion by himself. Woodruff wrote to the Presbyterian church’s General Assembly to ask if this would be permissible; he got a swift reply that yes, given the unique circumstances, it would be just fine.

Before liftoff, Woodruff organized a service that would include communion at Webster Church just before Aldrin was scheduled to leave Houston to travel to the launch site at Kennedy Space Center in Florida....
(Excerpt) Read more at: ChurchLeaders
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