As Philip Rieff once commented, in past times people did not go to church to be made happy; they went to have their misery explained to them. If the Book of Common Prayer is a guide, that is understandable: Life in the sixteenth century was miserable, and it ended in death. People wanted the tools to face reality, not distractions to make them feel good about themselves. Our lives may be, on average, more comfortable than those of our ancestors, but that is a temporary state of affairs and our end is just the same as theirs. So, grim as it sounds, it is the task of the church to fight not so much against physical plagues, which come and go, but rather against that which Leszek Kolakowski dubbed the age of analgesics.
Carl Trueman, “Death Delayed,” First Things March 31, 2020.