There's a song I've been singing for many years - the chorus mostly - until recently, when I decided to learn the verses. Just thinking about them makes me almost cry with joy.

Angel Band is one of the most popular hymns and was written by J. Hascall and William Bradbury. Bradbury is credited with being one of the prime movers in the transition of American hymody from the more stately style of the British composers to the more popular, sentimental style of the Gospel hymn. That latter style is what attracts me, but the words, combined with the tune, is what keeps me.

When I consider the metaphors: "My sun sinking, my triumph beginning, approaching the ranks of friends and kindred, the crossing must be near," then I feel myself approaching that wonderful place which can only be imagined, where peace and harmony reign, and all those warm and friendly folks I've ever known gather round to greet me.

"The holy ones, behold, they come; I hear the noise of wings." Can you feel the presence of angels in that line? Well, maybe I'm lucky, but I feel that way often. When I think of all the wonderful people in my life, I can become overwhelmed by the love I sense; and I can't help believing that you may all be angels. At those times my heart sings the chorus: "Oh, come, angel band, Come and around me stand. Oh, bear me away on your snowy wings to my immortal home; Oh, bear me away on your snowy wings to my immortal home."


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