Prophet Habakkuk.jpgThe Byzantine liturgical calendar includes the prophets in its commemorations because they foretell the coming of the Messiah, as the Kontakion states for today. (The Latin Church has the prophets in the Martyrology but does often feasts.) As a liturgical note, kontakion is a poetic text tied to the celebration at hand, or of a particular saint recalled during the Liturgy, most often sung by the deacon or some designated person following the proclamation of the gospel.

The holy prophet Habakkuk was the 8th of the 12 minor prophets from the Tribe of Simeon and he prophesied c. 650 BC. You’ll remember that Habakkuk prophesied the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the Babylonian Captivity and the return of the Israelites. Habakkuk’s encounter with an angel transported him to the prison where the Prophet Daniel was exhausted from hunger (Daniel 14:33-37).

Divinely eloquent Habakkuk, you announced to
the world the coming forth of God from the south, from the Virgin. Standing on
the divine watch, you received a report from the radiant angel: “You proclaimed
the Resurrection of Christ to the world!” Therefore in gladness we cry out to
you: “Rejoice, splendid adornment of the prophets!”

Byzantine Liturgy, Kontakion