1. Learn these tunes before you learn any others; afterwards learn as many as you please;
2. Sing them exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all; and if you have learned to sing them otherwise, unlearn it as soon as you can;
3. 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;
4. 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. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sung the songs of Satan;
5. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound;
6. Sing in time. Whatever time is sung be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it; but attend close to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can; and take care not to sing too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first;
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; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven;
Well, it’s time for a change…say the powers that be…and Methodism is just about to get a NEW Hymn Book. Named Singing the Faith, the new book has been 7 years in the making. In 2004, the Music Resources Group (MRG) was appointed to oversee a process and they began the huge task of sifting through the vast array of thousands of hymns and songs. By late 2008, a draft list of hymns and songs was nationally published after which responses were requested/received and were evaluated and amendments made. By late 2009, a revised collection was put to the Methodist Church’s Faith & Order Committee; new arrangements were ordered where required; and a publishing house selection process instigated.
Finally, after 6 years, Conference formally authorised the proposed content list in June 2010. Since this day the publishers have been working hard on the new Hymn & Song Book for launch at this years Conference; and it will be ready for use by congregations in September this year.
You can pre-order your own version of Singing the Faith by going to the Singing the Faith website. Indicative pre-order prices are:
Singing the Faith, Full Music Edition £25.00 (full price £30.00)
Singing the Faith, Words Edition £7.50 (full price £9.00)