Apollo 11 astronaut inspires service on the moon at Lichfield Cathedral.
Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 15:33
Lichfield Cathedral will hold a special service on the moon at the exact time 50 years ago that Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin celebrated Holy Communion before he and Neil Armstrong became the first people to take one small step on the lunar surface.
People are invited to take communion together on the moon floor artwork called One Small Step, by Artist Peter Walker, which will transform the nave of Lichfield Cathedral and is the centrepiece of the Cathedral’s annual summer show 'The Great Exhibition 2019', this August called 'Space, God, the Universe and Everything!
Peter, who is also the Artist-in-Residence at Lichfield Cathedral, has worked with the National Space Centre in Leicester using NASA imagery to replicate the lunar landscape for One Small Step. It will run the full length and width of the vast nave and the moon floor artwork is part of a programme of special services, events and lectures at Lichfield Cathedral this Moon Landing anniversary year, to explore humankind’s place in the universe and the meaning of journeys.
And at 21.17 on Saturday 20 July – the exact time Buzz Aldrin celebrated Holy Communion before stepping out of the capsule onto the moon – people are invited to come and join in a service on the moon at Lichfield Cathedral and remember and celebrate that momentous occasion.
The cathedral doors will open at 20.00; music and recordings from 20.30 offer a chance for worshippers and visitors alike to walk on the floor and soak up the atmosphere. The service will start at 21.17 and there will be an opportunity to take communion before people are encouraged to take a moment to reflect on the 50thanniversary and what that means to us today.
The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, the Cathedral’s dean, said: “Celebrating the Eucharist at this moment recalls Buzz Aldrin’s simple celebration of Holy Communion inside the lunar module as they touched down on the moon surface 50 years ago.
“We want to give thanks that the God of all creation still stuns us with the awe and scale of space, and light and time. And that it is the human vocation to be thankful and to wonder,’ he added.
The Great Exhibition 2019 opens on August 8 and will feature light and sound installations inspired by space and the constellations created in collaboration with Luxmuralis.
Artist Peter Walker said: “People will be able to stand on the lunar landscape and look back at the earth, projected on to the nave ceiling, see the galaxies and universes open up before them, and it will be a beautiful, stunning experience in that space.
Visitors would be in “a position where very few people have been before, to explore within a sacred space these really big questions we’re faced with, be that creative or spiritual or political or environmental, “ he added.
Service on the moon at Lichfield Cathedral
21.17 Saturday July 20
Doors open at 20.00
Music and sound recordings from 20.30