ACOEMETES, Acoemeti, a name given to certain monks in the ancient Church who flourished particularly in the East; and who were thus called because they had divine service continually, and without interruption, performed in their churches.

The word is Greek, "ἀκοιμήται" (akoimētai), formed of the privative "a-" and "κοιμάομαι" (koimaomai), I lay down or sleep in bed.

The Acoemetes divided themselves into three bodies, each of which officiated in their turn and relieved the others, so that their churches were never silent, night nor day.

Nicetas Choniates mentions one Marcellus as the founder of the Acoemetes; whom some modern writers call Marcellus of Apamea. In Bollandus, we have "the Life of St. Alexander, Institutor of the Acoemetes, who were unknown before him," says the author of the life, a disciple of St. Alexander. This saint, according to Bollandus, lived about the Year 430. He was succeeded by Marcellus.

There are a kind of Acoemetes still subsisting in the Romish Church; the Religious of the Holy Sacrament, coming properly enough under that Denomination; in regard they keep up a perpetual Adoration, some or other of them praying before the Sacrament, Day and Night. See SACRAMENT.