We hope that you will use this information to refresh knowledge you already have or begin a new of learning. Either way we encourage you to visit us at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church any Sunday to talk with our members or Clergy so we may share spirit and fellowship with you.

A Thursday Evening Spirituality and Fellowship Connection

Join us Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. in the St. Sava Church for Akathist – a brief weekly celebration of the works of the Saints, Holy Days, and Holy Trinity.

The Akathist service lasts approximately 35 minutes and is an opportunity for a uniquely participatory service in which men and women may have the option to read passages from the Book of Akathists, exchanging phrasings with Clergy, and experiencing a unique mid-week spiritual connection with fellow parishioners.

St. Sava Church understands the lives of parishioners today are increasingly busy. The intention of the Thursday evening 6:00 p.m. start time is to enable people to come together, after work, in the early evening, to worship as a community for a mid-week spiritual uplifting and connection.

Consider making Thursday nights a special night for the entire family. Start your evening at Akthist and then enjoy some additional quality time together as a family.

Everyone is welcome to attend and participate as much as one feels comfortable. If you are new to the Orthodox Faith or if you are familiar, but haven’t been in touch recently, Akathist is a great way to connect and reconnect. It is completely acceptable to come to the Thursday evening Akathist service wearing a work uniform or making a visit on your way home from work. It’s not as much about what you wear as it is about the spirit you bring with you when you join us.

We look forward to seeing you soon on Thursday evenings!

Learn More

Akathist Service

Learn more about Akathist and the meaning at St. Sava Church.

  • Service takes place Thursdays, 6:00 p.m.
  • Church opens for silent prayer and reflection at 5:00 p.m.
  • For more information, call 219-736-9191
  • St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville, IN 46410

Getting to Know Akathist

The Akathist Hymn is one of the most well-loved services of devotion in the Orthodox Church. Although there is some debate concerning the particulars of its authorship, many scholars agree with the pious tradition which states that the Akathist was composed in the imperial city of Constantinople, “the city of the Virgin,” by St. Romanos the Melodist, who reposed in the year 556.

The Akathist Hymn has proven so popular that many other hymns have been written following its format, particularly in the Russian Orthodox Church. These include Akathists to Our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Cross, to various saints, etc. The word “akathistos” literally means “not sitting,” i.e., standing; normally all participants stand while it is being prayed.

The hymn is comprised of 24 stanzas, alternating long and short. Each short stanza (kontakion) ends with the singing of “Alleluia.” Each longer stanza (ikos) ends with the refrain: “Rejoice, O Bride Unwedded.”

The majority of the hymn is made up of praises directed to the Mother of God, always beginning with the salutation of the Archangel Gabriel: “Rejoice.” In each of them, one after the other, all the events related to our Lord’s incarnation pass before us for our contemplation.

The Archangel Gabriel ( in Ikos 1) marvels at the Divine self-emptying and the renewal of creation which will occur when Christ comes to dwell in the Virgin’s womb. The unborn John the Baptist (Ikos 3) prophetically rejoices. The shepherds (Ikos 4) recognize Christ as a blameless Lamb, and rejoice that in the Virgin “the things of earth join chorus with the heavens.”