A Methodist Church has changed from regular grape juice to white grape juice to keep stains from the carpet. Is this a valid Methodist traditional usage? Are there any historical sources explaining this usage?

  • It does not answer your question for Methodist Church, but in German Catholic Church it is very common to use white wine.
    – K-HB
    Mar 3, 2019 at 16:31
  • 2
    Why did they not change to a red carpet ?
    – Nigel J
    Mar 4, 2019 at 6:08

1 Answer 1


Methodist Churches enjoy a great deal of flexibility when it comes to when and how they conduct their services, and this is illustrated by the freedom they have to use grape juice (red or white, it matters not) and bread that doesn’t contain gluten. Their attitude can be summed up thus:

In the essentials – unity

In non-essentials – liberty

In all things – charity

Below are links to a couple of articles about the history behind the use of grape juice within Methodist Churches:

In 1864, the General Conference of The Methodist Episcopal Church entered the conversation [about non-alcoholic grape juice] when they approved a report from the Temperance Committee that recommended “the pure juice of the grape be used in the celebration of the Lord's Supper.”

In 1869, he [Dr. Thomas B. Welch] perfected a juice pasteurization process in his kitchen and began selling “Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine” to churches preferring an alcohol-free substitute for Communion. Unfortunately, the idea didn’t take off. After four years, Welch gave up this side business. Two years later, his son Charles convinced him to produce unfermented wine again. Charles offered free samples of the sacramental wine substitute to churches.

Source: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/methodist-history-controversy-communion-and-welchs-grape-juice

See also: http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/why-do-most-methodist-churches-serve-grape-juice-instead-of-wine

Removing stains from red wine or red grape juice is problematic. And a large area of carpet could cost thousands of pounds/dollars to replace. Prevention is always preferable to cure.

  • 1
    It's rather chilling that some church-people consider the cost of dealing with wine stains on church carpets a major consideration. And is it not the case that the colour of wine is indifferent, except that the blood of the covenant would unarguably be best represented by blood-red coloured wine? I can see why non-alcoholic juice would be a consideration for alcoholics in the congregation, but what a palavar this has all turned into! How far removed is this from what Jesus enacted? Yet you have stated the Methodist stance.
    – Anne
    Mar 19, 2019 at 20:33

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