I keep going back and forth on the whole canticle issue. Deirdre has a nice article at the Cafe that looks at the Song of Judith and reminds us that when singing the canticles, it’s important to learn the stories from whence they come. That is, the canticle means a lot more when you consider its proper context and how it portrays God acting through Judith.
I note (indirectly) in the comments that the Song of Judith is one of the new canticles given us by EOW. I’ve discussed these in the past—especially with Christopher—concerning whether more canticles is a better choice. Following Deirdre’s logic, more is better because we get exposed to more songs that have literary contexts that folks may then be interested to go and learn. More Bible is always good.
My fear is that more canticles mean that we we don’t learn any of them well. In order for more canticles to be better they have to be sung/read regularly and in a discernable order.
I’m also a complete stick in the mud and refuse to budge on the Benedictus (Song of Zechariah) as the invariable second canticle of morning prayer which means that there’s really only one free spot in the rotation—the canticle after the first MP reading.
Ack! Fewer, more, what’s a liturgy geek committed to Scripture to do! Perhaps the Benedictine option is the best—weave more canticles in amongst the Psalter…