The Wesleyan Covenant service was an annual ritual of the early Methodists in London during the 18th century. This service was also used at different times throughout the year whenever John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, would visit the Methodist Societies (Wesley's organized small groups of Christian accountability within the Church of England.)
There's a long version, a shorter version, and sometimes churches simply use the more familiar prayer from this service called "The Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition" (See below.) This prayer is in the United Methodist Hymnal. Here at Lancaster First UMC, I will be using the shorter form of the service for tonight's mid-week worship service and we'll be using the prayer only for all three worship services this Sunday, January 3rd as the prayer following the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
At the heart of the Wesleyan Covenant Service is the foundational Christian belief that God is always faithful in keeping his covenant of love, forgiveness, hope, and salvation. As God's people, we are invited to respond to God's covenant through our faithful and joyful obedience. The Wesleyan Covenant Service helps us to make an intentional commitment in living out our covenantal relationship with Jesus Christ. There is even an opportunity in the service to sign our name and date it signifying that we will live out what we have stated with our lips in The Wesleyan Covenant Service.
Wesley’s Covenant Prayer
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.