Covenant Service

. 3 min read

Part of our tradition for each new year:

Adapted from The United
Methodist Book of Worship
and The United Methodist
Commit yourselves to Christ.
Give yourselves to him, that
you may belong to him.
Christ has many services to
be done.
Some are more easy and
            others are more difficult and disgraceful.
Some are suitable to our
inclinations and interests,
            others are contrary to both.                                                                                                                                                                       
In some we may please Christ
and please ourselves.
But then there are other
works where we
please Christ,
            cannot love Christ,
            except by denying ourselves.
Let us, therefore, go to
Christ, and pray:
I am no longer mine, but
Put me to what you will,
            rank me with whom you will.
Put me to doing,
            put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for you
            or laid aside for you,
exalted for you
            or brought low for you.
Let me be full,
            let me be empty,
let me have all things,
            let me have nothing.
I freely and with a
willing heart
            give it all to your pleasure and disposal.
Christ will be the Savior of
his servants.
Christ will have no servants
except by consent;
Christ will not accept
anything except full consent
            to all he requires.
Christ will be all in all,
he will be nothing.
God requires that you shall
put away all your idols.
From the bottom of my
renounce them all,
covenanting with you that
no known sin
be allowed in my life.
Through Christ, God offers to
be your God again.
Before all heaven and
            I choose you as my Lord and my God.
I take you, Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit,
for my portion,
            and vow to give up myself, body and soul,
as your child,
            to follow you in love and faithfulness
all the days of my life.
Historical Note:
The Covenant Service goes
back to the writing of Richard Alleine, a Puritan, whose work was included by
John Wesley (the father figure of the Methodist movement) in his reference
collection, A Christian Library. 
Wesley adapted it for use in worship in 1755 and used the covenant
service as he visited the Methodist Societies across the British
.  He wrote in his
journal that it was regularly “an occasion for a variety of spiritual
experiences” including “a sense of pardon,” “full salvation,” and “a fresh
manifestation of [God’s] graces.”  While
the language is updated and abridged, it remains a series of dramatic and
demanding prayers offering total devotion to God in Christ.