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  #1  
Old Mar 21, '11, 3:18 pm
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veilofveronica veilofveronica is offline
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Default Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

Hi there,
I mean no disrespect to our Protestant friends with this question-I'm honestly curious. Why do many Protestant communion celebrations use grape juice instead of the wine that Catholics use? And why do many also use bread cubes/regular "bread" instead of the wafters (unleavened bread) that we use?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old Mar 21, '11, 3:36 pm
confusedius confusedius is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

Many have a prohibition against any form of alcohol. I have always found this to be, at the very least, a pretty tepid approach to an important sacrament.

james
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Old Mar 21, '11, 3:41 pm
The Old Medic The Old Medic is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

I can only speak for the faith I was raised in. They believe that in biblical times, wine referred to unfermented grape juice. They also believe that the consumption of alcohol, other than for medicinal use (and not a shot of whiskey straight), is not allowed. They seem alcohol as a great evil, and something that degrades man.

Therefore, in their communion, they use tiny cups of grape juice, and wafers of bread. They do NOT believe in the real presence, but see communion as a symbolic act only. This is what was always served at the church where my maternal grandfather was a minister.
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Old Mar 21, '11, 4:09 pm
Georgia Georgia is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

That is very similar to the thought where I was raised in that all alcohol use was considered evil. Communion was seen as nothing more than symbolic, but it was a glass similar to a shot glass and what looked like broken saltine crackers.

One Sunday a month was for the communion service. When we entered the church, the smell of the warm grape juice in the small glasses was wonderful. The glasses were in trays with holes where they nested. The trays were passed much like an offering basket. The bread worked the same way, small pieces of crackers in metal plates being passed. If you see the end of the movie "Places in the Heart", you will see a fair representation.

It never really clicked with me that alcohol was evil in any amount, but I heard the story that Jesus' first miracle was really turning water into grape juice. I don't think the narrative supports that. I was very much in the minority in that interpretation.
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Old Mar 21, '11, 4:17 pm
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DaughterOfMary6 DaughterOfMary6 is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

My grandmother and grandfather were raised Southern Baptist and have always been of the mindset that alcohol is a great evil. I've never seen either one touch a drop of the stuff in my entire life of almost 28 years--not even for special occasions. My grandmother once told me that alcohol was of the devil and it causes so much pain in our society by alcoholics and drunk drivers. While I don't drink alcohol very often at all, I think holding such a viewpoint is rather severe. I do agree that consuming alcohol to the point of being drunk is careless.

My grandparents changed to a United Methodist Church about 10 years ago or so and, before my reversion to the Church, I attended a few times and was able to witness the communion service. They only hold it once a month. The congregation processes by pew down to the altar area where the person takes a very tiny thimble sized cup of grape juice and a very small piece of regular wheat bread. It is only symbolic of the Last Supper and is nothing like the Eucharist at Catholic Churches.
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Old Mar 21, '11, 4:24 pm
icamay icamay is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

Presbyterians do communion once a month with bread (I've been to a few with wafers) and grape juice. And we don't go up for communion, it is passed through the pews.

As stated before, Protestants believe the communion is symbolic. It is one of only two sacraments.
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Old Mar 21, '11, 4:35 pm
icamay icamay is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

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Originally Posted by icamay View Post
Presbyterians do communion once a month with bread (I've been to a few with wafers) and grape juice. And we don't go up for communion, it is passed through the pews.

As stated before, Protestants believe the communion is symbolic. It is one of only two sacraments.
I should clarify - I was baptized PCUSA. I believe that Orthodox Presbyterian still use wine.
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Old Mar 21, '11, 4:43 pm
ChadS ChadS is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

I think the strict prohibition on alcohol found in many of the Protestant churches is definitely relaxed starting particularly with the baby boomers. I remember growing up in the Methodist Church my great aunt and many of the older ladies definitely frowned upon the idea of anybody drinking let alone the pastor. This came from temperance movement especially the WCTU. People in my great aunt's age range didn't stop just with alcohol they also didn't like "tools of the devil" like cards and dice and dancing.

People in my parents age range don't have those same compunctions. Even though they don't see anything wrong with drinking in moderation, the idea of switching to wine for communion is still forbidden. I think it's still ingrained as part of the general Protestant culture and something that makes them distinct from Catholics.

ChadS
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Old Mar 21, '11, 4:55 pm
FaithJoy FaithJoy is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

Protestants do believe wine is a great sin but the Bible speaks of wine over and over. Having said that, I live in a city with three private protestant Universities, the kids at those schools drink more alcohol than any people I ever knew. There are piles of beer cans in their apartment complexes outside. I know this because my job takes me there 2 times a month.
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Old Mar 21, '11, 4:58 pm
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Earnest Bunbury Earnest Bunbury is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

In addition, in the end, they don't have the "mind of the Church" in the intention of adhering to the matter and form of the sacrament. This stems from their theology, that the justification of Sanctifying Grace is a covering or imputing of Christ's Merits to the sinner instead of SG being a new interior life, grace perfecting nature. As seven is the number of perfection and covenant, why would there not be seven sacraments in the New Covenant?
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Old Mar 21, '11, 4:58 pm
gcnuss gcnuss is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

As a Lutheran, I have never known grape juice to be used, except as an option for people who for medical reasons could not consume alcohol.
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Old Mar 21, '11, 5:26 pm
Suni Moon Suni Moon is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

Because us protestants are whiny little brats who think ALCOHOL IS SATAN.
No, Really, we're sort of lame like that. There's a reason I always hated growing up with protestants, all the things that we just do WRONG.
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Old Mar 21, '11, 6:03 pm
elvisman elvisman is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Old Medic View Post
I can only speak for the faith I was raised in. They believe that in biblical times, wine referred to unfermented grape juice.
This was always my favorite argument against drinking wine because the fermentation process begins as soon as the skin of the grape is broken.

It wasn't until the 1920's when the Welch's company invented the process that halts fermentation that we were able to store grape juice for long periods of time.
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Old Mar 21, '11, 6:08 pm
steveb1 steveb1 is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

I never "got" the fundy wine prohibition - after all if it was "good for the Hebrew children", it ought to be good enough for fundies. The Hebrew Bible says something to the effect that "wine brings good cheer" - surely unfermented grape juice does not
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Old Mar 21, '11, 6:10 pm
ZxM ZxM is offline
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Default Re: Why do many Protestant Churches use grape juice instead of wine for communion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elvisman View Post
This was always my favorite argument against drinking wine because the fermentation process begins as soon as the skin of the grape is broken.

It wasn't until the 1920's when the Welch's company invented the process that halts fermentation that we were able to store grape juice for long periods of time.
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