Angels Watching Over Us
By Joan Anderson

A Secret Communion on the Moon

Americans will never forget the first time human beings set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on July 20, 1969.

Armstrong took the first step and said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” An entire planet probably trembled with a new awareness of God and His vast creation.

But more was happening during this amazing time. Shortly after the men landed, Aldrin radioed NASA and asked for a moment of silence so that “each person listening in (could) contemplate the events of the last few hours.” During this quiet period, Aldrin opened little plastic packages containing bread and wine, silently read a few verses of Scripture and received communion. “It was interesting to think that the first liquid ever poured on the moon and the first food eaten there were the Christian communion,” Aldrin said later.

Only the pastor at Aldrin’s Houston Presbyterian church—and a few NASA personnel—knew that communion was happening on the moon. Why? Because the famous atheist, Madelyn Murray O’Hare, was involved in a legal fight protesting the reading of Scripture by the Apollo 8 crew. To broadcast a private communion in a very public arena might create even more challenges, and dull the luster of this accomplishment. So Aldrin was asked to “keep it quiet,” which he did.

It was twenty years before the secret was revealed. What do you think? Should the astronauts have received a Christian sacrament? If so, should they have revealed it?

Author and lecturer Joan Wester Anderson was born in Evanston, Illinois. She began her writing career in 1973 with family humor articles and was a monthly columnist for two national magazines during the 1980s. Among her 16 books is Where Angels Walk, which was on the New York Times best-seller list for over a year. Her newest book is Angelic Tails: True Stories of Heavenly Canine Companions (Loyola Press).

Leave a Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Your Comments (14)

i was really sad to hear about his death but after reading this i know i'll see him again

Aldrin did take communion...but not Armstrong, he was a diest,like Thomas Jefferson.

Absolutely! We like to think we're solely in charge of our destiny and accomplishments, but the truth is that nothing as remarkable as landing on the moon is possible without Divine intervention, so it is only right that the astronauts took time to honor God and give thanks. I only wish that they hadn't been forced to hide this wonderful act of faith and could have shared it with the world. God bless Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin!

How wonderful to know one of the great pioneer heroes of our country gave our Lord praise & adoration by communion with Him. Expressing his faith by communion during such a time of spectacular success was an outward expression of his gratitude for His wonderful creation &, I'm sure, safe travel.
Nick Parisi

Should have kept it totally to themselves. It was a secular, tax-funded achievement of all Americans and, by extension according to Armstrong's oft-quoted speech, all mankind. Not all of us believe crumbled Ritz crackers and Welch's grape juice (that's what they served at Marietta, Georgia, First Baptist Church when I partook in my youth) turn into the flesh and blood of Jesus.

Brad, you are trying to be a proponent on behalf of all tax payers. Sims to me in your mind taxpayers are entities without soul, feelings or faith. Needless to remind - this country stands for freedom of expression and rights of any citizen does not matter where he is on Earth or the Moon. Exercising these rights of all free men is the whole idea of going to the Moon on the first place! I can assure you if USSR would be 1-st on the moon - the Russian cosmonauts would be ordered to praise their own god - the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Greatest Leader of the working class - Khrushchev - and this would be their right! The fact that US astronauts did not praise any man but only creator - is an excellent reminder of humble nature of these people and this nation. We are not sole-less taxpayers stomped by a machine - we are humans and expressions like Buzz Aldrin's act of faith is the best reminder of our true nature, on behalf of all mankind.

Brad,

I FULLY understand from where you come with your comments; I have been there as well; however, irrespective of the fact that it was government funded- there are no amount of all corporations working together could afford nearly one trillion dollars of research to get the men on the moon, these men risked their lives to get there and back. They damned well had their right to branch out from the fold and do what they did. If I were they (and I almost was- going into the astonaut program)I would also be a bit fearful and would add that to the dimension of gratitude for the great God of the universe looking out for my ass in a tough situation like that.

This all gives new meaning to the sayin' "Don't be so quick, my friend, to be so condeming unless you 'are walking' in their shoes (boots)".

It is my prayer that yuo will reignite the love for almighty God that you may have lost."He who draws close to me, i will draw close to him. "He who honors ME, I will honor him!"

God bless you & please advise!!

daledcummings@windstream.net

In 1969 Satan was waging a raging war with America against the foundation of her fundamental faith. Ms. O'Hare was one of the dark ones allies, however isn't it amazing that her son would go on and be a bible stomping evangelist? What Neil and Buzz did at that time was well within their rights to free speech and freedom of religion. It is unfortunate that our country has lost her way and has been fed a line from Satan and swallowed it hook line and sinker.

43 years ago the Eagle blasted through gravity and landed on the moon. Today Neil Armstrong escaped gravity once again as he plunged into eternity. I am so glad I was alive to see that small step you took Neil and I hope that you are in paradise. They say that your footprints will remain on the moon for over a million years since there is no wind. That of course our friend and hero is a twinkle of an eye in eternity.

I love the fact that it was kept quiet. It was a holy and private moment between them and God. Makes it more authentic and less of a show or statement. It was a moment of true worship.

Yes it was the greatest thibg they could do giving the Lord Jesus remembrance through this sacrement and giving Him the glory for their great accomplishment for reaching the moon.

yes yes yes the world should know what a wonderful experience! and praise God that Buzz was not ashamed to do it. there should be more people like him. Thank you

"It was twenty years before the secret was revealed. What do you think? Should the astronauts have received a Christian sacrament? If so, should they have revealed it?"

Hmmm i think,. yeah right astronauts must received Christian sacrament..
krill oil

Joan, your story reminds me of Luke 8:16-17 which says, “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lamp stand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.”

God bless Buzz Aldrin for giving honor to the Lord by receiving communion after landing on the moon!

Of course it should have been public. You see, they weren't on earth anymore, or in this country for that matter. They were in space, to be obedient and governed by the Maker of heaven and earth!