Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wine or Grape Juice?
…that wine was served in the communion service in almost every service? Regardless of denomination and beliefs concerning alcohol, wine was utilized in almost all of the denominational church services. There were some crude methods to prepare unfermented wine (juice) for use at any time during the year, e.g. to reconstitute concentrated grape juice, or to boil raisins, or to add preservatives that prevent juice from fermenting and souring.
What changed that? Why do most churches service grape juice as the element that represents the blood of Jesus which He willingly shed for the forgiveness of sins?
A Methodist Deacon who strongly opposed the "manufacturing, buying, selling, or using intoxicating liquors" as part of his commitment to the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion discovered a process to “perfect” the unfermenting process of wine.
In 1869, this Methodist Deacon turned Dentist, discovered a process of pasteurizing grape juice so that fermentation was stopped, and the drink was non-alcoholic. He persuaded local churches to adopt this non-alcoholic "wine" for communion services.
Who was this inventor who introduced grape juice in the communion services of the local church? What did he originally call his newly discovered pasturized grape juice? What do we call it now?
Well his name was Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch. He called his new concoction, Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine. We know it today as Welch’s Grape Juice.
Now you know!
Does your church serve wine or grape juice?