Dead Hymns Society

Mark Dever comments on the decline in hymns about the grave and the afterlife in current hymn books:

Our reluctance to sing about the grave in church on Sunday only reveals how much our hopes have been entrusted to this life–and we do not wish to conceive of them being lost. Our treasures have been put too much in this world.
Completely Unavoidable Optimism, Together for the Gospel blog, 22 Feb 2007

I’ve previously pondered the decline in singing about death. This is certainly another important factor in the decline. It’s a very long time since I heard the hymn

This world is not my home
I’m just a’passing through
My treasures are laid up
Somewhere beyond the blue

It may not be the best example of Christian hymnody, but it’s certainly not as popular today as it was in my youth. Perhaps the reason lies not so much in changes in musical taste but in changes of hope.

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