Saturday, April 22, 2006

Lunar Communion

In writing about their arrival on the moon in Apollo 11, the lunar module, Buzz Aldrin said: “We were supposed to try to sleep for four hours before exploring the surface. But whoever signed off on that plan didn’t know much psychology. We’d just landed on the moon and there was a lot of adrenalin zinging through our bodies.”

“I had one ceremony I’d planned. My pastor at the church I attended in Houston had given me a tiny communion kit, complete with a miniature silver chalice and a wine vial about the size of my little fingertip. I asked ‘every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and give thanks in his or her own way.’”

“The clear plastic shelf in front of our DSKY became the altar. I read silently from the communion service, ‘I am the Vine and you are the branches’ as I poured the wine into the chalice. The wine looked like syrup as it swirled around the sides of the cup in the light gravity before it finally settled at the bottom.”

Eagle’s metal body creaked faintly. I ate the tiny host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility.”

Source: Buzz Aldrin and Malcolm McConnell, Men from Earth, p170.

Image: Buzz Aldrin