Why do most Methodist churches serve grape juice instead of wine for Holy Communion?
The history of this practice in The United Methodist Church is outlined in Changing Wine into Grape Juice: Thomas and Charles Welch and the Transition to Unfermented Fruit of the Vine.
The United Methodist Book of Worship says, "Although the historic and ecumenical Christian practice has been to use wine, the use of unfermented grape juice by The United Methodist Church and its predecessors since the late nineteenth century expresses pastoral concern for recovering alcoholics, enables the participation of children and youth, and supports the church's witness of abstinence."
(From The United Methodist Book of Worship. Copyright © 1992 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.)
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