Astronaut Neil Armstrong and Communion on the Moon

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The country is mourning the loss Neil Armstrong, the man who's first steps on moon changed history. The former astronaut passed away Saturday at the age of 82.

On July 20, 1969, the world watched Armstrong's moment on the moon and listened to those famous words: "That's one small step for giant leap for mankind."

"I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning Neil's passing - a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew," Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin, Armstrong's crewmate on the mission, said on Twitter.

"As young girl watching #NeilArmstrong step on the moon, the stars came a little bit closer & my world & expectations quite a bit larger," Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut, tweeted.

"He took something that 20 years earlier was pure fantasy and turned it into reality. And if we could do that for space, we could do it for anything," Howard McCurdy, a professor of space and public policy at American University, said.

Despite Armstrong's great accomplishment, he never wanted to be in the spotlight. After returning from the moon he moved back to a small town in Ohio, taught college, and raised a family.

Armstrong rarely spoke to the media, but in one of his last interviews, he said his greatest disappointment is that he never once had a dream about his walk on the moon.

Communion on the Moon

Aldrin, an elder in his Presbyterian church at the time, had planned a special commemoration for the 1969 moon landing.

According to author Eric Metaxas, Aldrin carried a communion wafer and a small vial of communion wine that had been blessed by his pastor.

After the lunar module touched down, Aldrin asked everyone to take a moment to give thanks in their own way. He then read scripture and took communion on the moon.

"I am the vine, you are the branches," Aldrin read from John 15:5. "Whoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing."

Aldrin wanted the event to be broadcast back to earth. But NASA decided against it since the agency was embroiled with a lawsuit with atheist Madelyn Murry O’Hair.

The suit was over the reading from the book of Genesis when Apollo 8 circled the moon in December of '68.

Americans never knew about the Aldrin’s communion ceremony on the moon until years later.

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