Akathist – Definition & Meaning

Akathist is a term that is often used in religious contexts, particularly in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. It is a word that has a rich history and deep meaning, and is often associated with prayer and worship. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of Akathist, as well as its origins and associations.


Akathist is a Greek word that can be translated to mean “not sitting” or “not at rest”. In the context of religious worship, it refers to a type of hymn or prayer that is sung or recited while standing. The Akathist is typically a long poem or hymn that is divided into stanzas, each of which is dedicated to a particular aspect of religious devotion.


The origins of the Akathist can be traced back to the Byzantine Empire, where it was first used as a form of prayer and worship in the 6th century. It is believed to have been composed in honor of the Virgin Mary, and was intended to be recited during times of great crisis or distress. Over time, the Akathist became a popular form of worship in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and is still used today in many parts of the world.

Meaning in different dictionaries

In most dictionaries, the definition of Akathist is similar to the one given above – a type of hymn or prayer that is recited while standing. However, some dictionaries also include additional meanings, such as “unrest” or “anxiety”. This reflects the fact that the Akathist is often used as a form of prayer during times of difficulty or distress.


The Akathist is closely associated with the Eastern Orthodox Church, and is often used as a form of worship during special religious services. It is also associated with the Virgin Mary, who is often the subject of the hymn. In addition, the Akathist is associated with the idea of standing vigil, or remaining awake and alert in the face of danger or difficulty.


There are few synonyms for Akathist, as it is a very specific term. However, some possible alternatives might include “hymn”, “prayer”, or “devotion”.


Again, there are few true antonyms for Akathist, as it is a very specific term. However, some possible opposites might include “sitting”, “resting”, or “inactivity”.

The same root words

The word Akathist comes from the Greek root word “akathistos”, which means “not sitting”. This root word is also the basis for other related terms, such as “akathisia” (a medical term for restlessness or agitation) and “akatharsia” (a term used in ancient Greek philosophy to refer to the idea of purity or cleanliness).

Example Sentences

  1. During times of great distress, the faithful often turn to the Akathist as a form of prayer and worship.
  2. The Akathist is a beautiful hymn that is often sung during religious services in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
  3. Some people find it difficult to stand for long periods of time during the Akathist, but many find it to be a deeply moving and meaningful form of worship.
  4. The Akathist is a reminder to remain vigilant and alert, even in the face of great difficulty or danger.
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