I am delighted to read that celebrants of a church service at the theological college of Westcott House
in Cambridge have alarmed and annoyed their parishioners (I suppose – it is not clear from the article) by conducting a service in the language, or
patois, or pidgin or creole or whatever it is, known as Polari, wherein "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost" is rendered
"Fabeness be to the Auntie, and to the Homie Chavvie, and to the Fantabulosa Fairy" and God generally is "Gloria". Fantabulosa Fairy indeed. Gloria. Outrageous.
"'Bona Parle' means language; name of patter. 'Yeute munjare' – no food. 'Yeute lente' – no bed. 'Yeute bivare' – no drink. I've 'yeute munjare,' and 'yeute bivare,' and, what's worse, 'yeute lente.' This is better than the costers' talk, because that ain't no slang and all, and this is a broken Italian, and much higher than the costers' lingo. We know what o'clock it is, besides."
It may seem to be a little disrespectful to employ this language of social margins in a church service of the Established Church (although better, surely, than the costers’ lingo), but it is also apt, given the marginal figures with whom the Messiah liked to take up back in the day in Palestine. I doubt there was anything quite as salty in the Aramaic of the first century, but had there been, no doubt Jesus would have been fluent in it, what with his entourage of jugglers and puppet-show proprietors, and other scoundrels and riff-raff, not to mention his close association with Gloria and the Fantabulosa Fairy.