Singing is powerful aspect of our worship that motivates one to a greater attitude and a greater desire to worship. Music has a tendency to transport the mind into a higher realm.
In 1780, John Wesley published his rules for singing as a part of a hymnal he produced that same year.. The list is fascinating and the points apply to this year even more than the year they were written. The list is contained below:
- Learn these tunes before you learn any others; afterwards learn as many as you please.
- Sing them exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all.
- Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can.
- Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep.
- Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation.
- Sing in tune. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before or stay behind it. Take care not to sing too slow.
- Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing.
A few years before the hymnal was published, Mr. Wesley wrote his views on a new song in a journal entry dated, July 3, 1764,
“I seldom relish verses at first hearing. Till I have heard them over and over, they give me no pleasure, and they give me next to none when I have heard them a few times more, so as to be quite familiar.”