Lutheran pastor Martin Rinckart, served in a German town named Eilenburg that became a refuge for military and political fugitives during the Thirty Years War. Eilenburg became overcrowded with refugees who were victims of famine, and victims of the Black Plague epidemic that arrived in 1637. Pastor Rinckart buried two of the towns four pastors on the same day and the third one fled to a healthier climate.
As the sole remaining pastor, Rinckart conducted as many as forty to fifty funeral services a day, totaling to about 4,480 funerals. While living in this town that was dominated by death, Pastor Rinckart is best known for writing this hymn: