Our services in the house of God have suffered no change. They consist of (generally) a prayer of invocation, singing, reading the Scriptures, prayer, singing, sermon, prayer, benediction. In some of our churches we sing twice, in others three times, and in others, the prayer at the opening of the service is omitted.
According to our former custom, we stood in prayer, and sat in singing. Of late, we have adopted, in part, the practice of the Episcopalian brethren, by standing in singing, and sitting in prayer…. To kneel in prayer is exceedingly appropriate, and I wish it could be universally adopted. To stand is expressive of reverence, when we approach into the presence of God. To sit listlessly gazing around, when we profess to be offering up our supplications to God, can surely be justified neither by religion or good taste. I must, therefore, consider our change in this respect to be a failure. It would have been better had we remained as we were. Our love for imitation has overstepped itself, and excluded what was good, both in our own usage and that of others.
Again our notion of worship is simply this. We meet together on the Sabbath to offer up to God, each one for himself, the sacrifice of prayer and praise, and to cultivate holy affections by the reading and explanation of the word of God, and by applying its truth to our own souls. The preacher has a particular portion of Scripture to which he directs our attention. It is his design to unfold the mind of the Spirit, as it is made known in this part of revelation. To this end he selects his hymns, and the portion of Scripture which he reads, desiring, so far as possible, to have every part of the service aid in producing a definite moral effect. From beginning to end it is one act of worship, from which every thing irreverent, is to be from the nature of the case, excluded. Nothing should divert the mind from the great moral object for which the assembly has convened. This idea was formerly carried out among us. No notices were read, or announcements made, except they pertained to the religious meetings of the church, and lest they should distract the attention of the audience, they were given at the close of the last singing, just before the congregation was dismissed.
Note the simplicity of the service and the scripturally regulated elements. Baptists at this point were still influenced by the Regulative Principle. The order:
Prayer of invocation
Notice that there is no "hymns of invitation" or "altar call." There is also no offering collection. He also expresses little approval of "announcements."
On posture, Wayland expresses his preference for standing for prayer and sitting for singing.