In the days of John Wesley (1703-1791) the people had hymn books with words only. The music notation, usually handwritten, was only on the music rack of the organist. Wesley’s rules for congregational singing are still valid today. They are interesting as well as instructive.

1. Learn the tune.

2. Sing the hymns as they are printed.

3. Sing all of the hymn. “If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing.”

4. Sing lustily and with a good courage.

5. Sing modestly; do not bawl.

6. Sing in time; do not run before nor stay behind.

7. 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.

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