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  #1  
Old Jun 13, '07, 1:45 pm
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MarcoPolo MarcoPolo is offline
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Default Eucharist on the Moon??

In the July 23, 1999 episode of Catholic Answers Live, Jimmy Akin mentions that, back when, an astronaut apparently took the Eucharist to the moon with him. He was not sure if the astronaut was a Catholic. Does anyone know if this occurred and if it was an actual, consecrated host?
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  #2  
Old Jun 13, '07, 1:49 pm
mercygate mercygate is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

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Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
In the July 23, 1999 episode of Catholic Answers Live, Jimmy Akin mentions that, back when, an astronaut apparently took the Eucharist to the moon with him. He was not sure if the astronaut was a Catholic. Does anyone know if this occurred and if it was an actual, consecrated host?
COMMUNION ON THE MOON Guideposts July 1989 p. 23

Twenty yrs. ago, on July 20, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin climbed out of their lunar module Eagle and took their historic 1st steps on the moon. Little known to others, another first took place on that day.

Before the lift-off, Aldrin was looking for a way to honor God's presence in the Apollo 11 space mission. He talked with his minister, Dean Woodruff of Webster Presbyterian Church in Houston. When in their discussions the Christian sacrament of communion was mentioned, a plan emerged.

Two Sundays before the moon shot, Aldrin participated in a small, private communion service at his congregation, after which his minister broke off a corner of the communion bread and gave it to Aldrin along with a tiny chalice with some wine. Aldrin sealed these in plastic packets and safely stowed them in his personal preference kit (each astronaut was allowed to take a few personal items with him).

July 20, 1969 was a Sunday. At 3:17 P.M. (Houston time) the Eagle touched down. Aldrin took out the communion elements from their flight packets and put them on a small table in front of the abort guidance system computer. Then he called Houston, and asked for a few moments of silence. In the 1/6th gravity of the moon, he poured the wine, watching it curl gracefully up the side of the chalice. From a slip of paper he read the passage, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5 RSV). And then he took communion.
So it was that the first food eaten by man on the moon was in the name of our Lord.

This event was also recorded in Time as shared by R.Digest 6/72 that Aldrin commented "It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements."
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  #3  
Old Jun 13, '07, 7:39 pm
JimG JimG is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

I'm wondering if that could even happen today. There would be an outcry and possible lawsuit by the ACLU and others.
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Old Jun 13, '07, 9:27 pm
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

Certainly not the Eucharist, but interesting nonetheless.
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  #5  
Old Jun 13, '07, 9:30 pm
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MarcoPolo MarcoPolo is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

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Originally Posted by mercygate View Post
He talked with his minister, Dean Woodruff of Webster Presbyterian Church in Houston.

Two Sundays before the moon shot, Aldrin participated in a small, private communion service at his congregation, after which his minister broke off a corner of the communion bread and gave it to Aldrin along with a tiny chalice with some wine.
A wonderful gesture by Aldrin, but if I understand Presbyterians correctly, still no "Real Presence" Communion on the moon, huh?
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  #6  
Old Jun 14, '07, 4:03 am
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chevalier chevalier is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

Presbyterian ministers are not validly ordained priests, so they cannot consecrate the elements. Still I wish Catholics normally had Aldrin's piety.
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Old Jun 14, '07, 4:52 am
mercygate mercygate is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

Isn't it invidious to be sniping at Buzz Aldrin's communion just because it is not ours. As the previous poster observed: would that we all had his piety and desire to take Christ to the entire cosmos! If you ask me, his motive was entirely Catholic!
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Old Jun 14, '07, 5:09 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

the title of the thread should reflect the title of the article cited, Communion on the Moon, because obviously the sacred species of the Eucharist were not present, however the faith and witness are beautiful to read about and I have no doubt Christ was present for the astronauts that day.
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Old Jun 14, '07, 7:09 am
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

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Originally Posted by mercygate View Post
Isn't it invidious to be sniping at Buzz Aldrin's communion just because it is not ours.
Perhaps or perhaps not, but my original question was whether or not the host was consecrated, so it is applicable in this thread to make the distinction. And thank you for clearing it up!
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Old Jun 20, '09, 5:41 pm
mmmcounts mmmcounts is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

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I'm wondering if that could even happen today. There would be an outcry and possible lawsuit by the ACLU and others.
Two brief comments from me: It wasn't without controversy at that time, and I think it could still happen.

Aldrin took communion at the same time as his church family at Webster Presbyterian Church in Webster, Texas. The original plan was to broadcast the whole thing back to Earth, but Aldrin was forced to agree to a radio blackout while it happened. NASA, at the time, was involved in a legal battle over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis as they orbited the moon during the Christmas of '68.

So in a way, it didn't fully happen- not over the airwaves, at any rate. At this time, I don't think any astronaut would have any problem duplicating this or doing something similar. Additionally, NASA does not have any impeding legal distractions at this time. Because of this, I feel that astronauts could make an even more overt and public display right now than Aldrin was able to make on the moon. There would be a substantial outcry after the fact, but I think there's less of an obstacle standing in the way at the front end right now.
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  #11  
Old Jun 20, '09, 9:53 pm
Peggy in Burien Peggy in Burien is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

Catholic or not, I am moved to tears by the piety of the man. His first thoughts and actions after landing on the moon were to build an altar and worship God, the Creator of all things in the universe.

I have not heard this before, and that was a very special day for me, personally.

I cried when the astronauts read from Genesis on the Apollo 8 mission.

Thank you for sharing this with us.
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  #12  
Old Jun 20, '09, 10:08 pm
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phoenix3212 phoenix3212 is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

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Originally Posted by mercygate View Post
Isn't it invidious to be sniping at Buzz Aldrin's communion just because it is not ours. As the previous poster observed: would that we all had his piety and desire to take Christ to the entire cosmos! If you ask me, his motive was entirely Catholic!
It was truly, ehem, universal.
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  #13  
Old Jun 20, '09, 11:35 pm
JPUSC JPUSC is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

So if the wine slowly curled up, did he drink it while it was floating in the air?
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Old Jun 21, '09, 9:34 am
Mattapoisett64 Mattapoisett64 is offline
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

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Originally Posted by Peggy in Burien View Post
Catholic or not, I am moved to tears by the piety of the man. His first thoughts and actions after landing on the moon were to build an altar and worship God, the Creator of all things in the universe.

I have not heard this before, and that was a very special day for me, personally.

I cried when the astronauts read from Genesis on the Apollo 8 mission.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Maybe not so much a private communion, but a space broadcast while reading from the Scriptures -- now that's something that's hard to picture in today's Politically Correct world. The ACLU would have a field day.
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Old Jun 21, '09, 11:09 am
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Default Re: Eucharist on the Moon??

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So if the wine slowly curled up, did he drink it while it was floating in the air?
No, this was done in Lunar gravity, which is 1/6th Earth gravity. The wine flowed differently, but it didn't float. This would be a consideration if this were ever done on the space station, where there is zero, or null, gravity. Maybe store the Precious Blood in plastic "sip bags" that have a microlayer of gold on the inside?
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