The astronauts of Apollo 8 (the first manned mission to the moon) entered orbit around the moon on Christmas Eve, 1968. While circling the moon, the three astronauts hosted a live telecast in which all three read from Genesis 1 and then Frank Borman delivered a special Christmas greeting.
WallBuilders Collection includes a document signed by Frank Borman with the text of the Christmas Eve message. Also included is a prayer recorded by Borman on Christmas Day, 1968. Below is a scan and transcript of this document from our collection.
A Christmas Eve Prayer From Lunar Orbit
December 24, 1968
“Give Us, O God, The Vision
Which Can See Thy Love In The World
In Spite of Human Failure.
“Give Us The Faith, The Trust
The Goodness In Spite Of
Our Ignorance And Weakness.
“Give Us The Knowledge
That We May Continue To Pray
With Understanding Hearts,
And Show Us What Each One Of Us
Can Do To Set Forth
The Coming Of The Day
Of Universal Peace. Amen.”
As Apollo 8 began its last lunar orbit, Astronaut William Anders said, “We are not approaching the lunar sunrise and for all people back on earth the crew of Apollo 9 has a message we would like to send to you.” The television camera aboard the spacecraft panned the lunar surface as Anders and his fellow astronauts recited in a medley the first eight verses of Genesis.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and God, let there be light. And there was light. And God saw the light and it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness.”
“And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. And let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament. And divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called that firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
“And God said let the waters under the heavens be gathered together in one place. And let the dry land appear. And it was so. And God called the dry land earth. And the gathering together of the waters He called the seas. And God saw that it was good. And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a merry Christmas and God bless all of you — all of you on the good earth.”