John Wesley derived from Puritanism the custom of making an explicit covenant with God. He published and used forms composed by the Puritans Richard and Joseph Alleine, but made them a corporate rather than an individual act. The first Methodist Covenant Service was held at the former Huguenot chapel in Grey Eagle Street, Spitalfields London, on 11 August 1755, after a week in which Wesley had been preparing the society for the occasion.
In Wesley's day the service was held at various times in the year, especially on Easter Monday. It later came to be held on the first Sunday of the year as a corporate renewal of individual discipleship. It first appeared in a full service book in the WM book of 1882. It there consisted of a long exhortation followed by a covenant prayer, but usually included a hymn (now HP 649) written by Charles Wesley for the purpose, and was followed by a Communion Service. In subsequent service books the WM liturgical form has been extensively revised, but still includes a sentence or so from the original prayer.
In the MNC and UMFC (and from 1907 on, in the UMC) the Wesleyan usage continued to be followed quite closely, but the PM and BC churches, while retaining the concept of renewing one's covenant with God, abandoned its liturgical expression.