Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wine or Grape Juice?

Did You Know…?

…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?


Mike said...

Our house church has used both. Usually it's grape juice, since we have a couple children who can and do partake in communion with us. Other times when the kids are not with us we have used wine.

Lisa said...

I've never been in a service where wine was served and especially when I was a member of the UPC church. God forbid! I don't believe it's wrong to drink wine now, but that doesn't mean it's right for everyone.

I like your range of topics for blog posts. Keep it up my friend!


AL said...

Interesting to know! I've never had actual wine in a service before either, and often wondered why.
I think we should use actual wine, since that's what was used in the first place.
But I suppose, with alcoholism and abuses, there are good reasons why we don't.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history lesson Gregg.

Who says Old Geezers can't learn something new?
I just did!

Thanks again, Ron

PropellerHeadMom said...

Our church uses both. Interesting story about the Welch's grape juice!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I didn't know that so thank you for sharing! : ) It serves grape juice. God bless you! Oh, and the modest clothing survey is up is you have time to take it.

Persis said...

Our church uses grape juice. Interesting info about Welch's.

Michelle said...

The Welch's would just not fly over at my little chapel! lol...

Nice post!

james said...


We use grape juice. But I did go to a church that used both.