Angel-Chief of Many Names: Songs for the Harp

San Diego: T.B. Thomassen, 1994, $8.95

"A Love as strong as death Thou art:
Set Thy seal upon my heart.
I pray now that my soul shall be
Forever, ever bound to Thee." 

                      - from the title song, "Angel-Chief of Many Names"

Philo called the Logos, the Word, "The Image of God, His angel... He is as it were the Angel-Chief of Many Names, for He is called Dominion, and Name of God." Almost 2000 years later, Billy Graham wrote, "Jesus...shall be for all time to come, the Angel of God's presence who leads us." In the Catholic Church, the O Antiphons of Advent call on our Lord, as the Angel who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, to "COME, and redeem us with outstretched arms." Handel, in Messiah, quotes the prophet who wrote, "The Lord will come to His temple, even the Messenger (Angel) of the Covenant, in whom you delight."

In fact, theologians of all ages have said that the Old Testament "Angel of the Lord" was our Lord, Jesus Christ, appearing before his Incarnation. This book of songs is a tribute to Him as Angel of the Lord and as King of Angels. The author, a Christian mystic, writes, in a song which echoes J.R.R. Tolkien's Ainulindálë (song of the angels at the creation of the world):


"You are not only Angel, You,
But Word of God, and God's own Son;
Countenance of God you are,
Image of the Unseen One:
So you whisper here to me,
So I know and give my hand.
Use my life to help fulfill
Your song before the world began."


Songs in this book also echo Julian of Norwich ("All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well"), Saint John of the Cross, and Saint Teresa of Avila. They include O Light of the Morning (originally written in Gaelic), All Shall Be Well, Mary Magdalene, With Tears of Joy, Maranatha (from the Book of Revelation), and 25 more, including songs for Christmas, Easter, and five songs in honor of Mary. The style ranges from that of traditional hymns to contemporary Christian. Many of the songs include Scriptural references.


The book is 36 pages long, 5˝" x 8˝", and includes 31 songs in lead sheet style (words, melody, and chords) which are written for the harp but can be played on any instrument. It is illustrated by Elly Fithian and Yolanda Burke, and the cover is printed in blue on blue and white marbled card stock.



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