John Wesley wrote his directions for singing as part of ‘Select Hymns’ (published in 1761). The full list can be found here (worshipedia.org) or here (Joyful Noise Ministries), or in the original text if you happen to have a 350year book lying around!
I wanted to highlight three of them which I think deserve particular attention for all worshippers in all situations:
- Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a single degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find it a blessing.
- Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength.
- 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, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.
If we all adhered to these directions then I believe we’ll find our worship moving on to another level.