The Degree of Royal Ark Mariners
Elevation into the Royal Ark Mariner Degree commemorates the providence and mercy of God and relates to the legend of the deluge. The subject matter being taken directly from The Bible is naturally both beautiful and instructive. When the candidate enters the Lodge room his attention is directed to three pillars and at one stage the Ark is momentarily symbolised in terms similar to the Ark of Salvation. The candidate is finally instructed to advance in the spirit of the Cardinal Virtues.
The teaching of the Degree emphasises the importance of family strengths and the need for each member of society to play his part for the benefit of all. We are taught that out of chaos and catastrophe, mankind can survive and that we should face adversity together, helping to look after those less fortunate than ourselves.
During the ceremony, analogies are drawn between the dangers of the flood and the dangers of life. We are reminded of how we should strive to reach the Ark, the haven of rest, just as did Noah's family and the other occupants of the Ark in the Biblical tales of the deluge.
Most Royal Ark Mariner Lodges meet three times per year, usually on the same evening as their Mark Lodge. In some instances, the RAM installation may be held at a different meeting so as to allow the incoming Worshipful Commander to preside over the Festive Board and to have "his own" evening. The oldest Royal Ark Mariner Lodge in the Province of South Wales is St. John’s Lodge No 28 whose warrant is dated from 17th September 1874
This degree, although worked under the aegis of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, and requiring every candidate to be a Mark Master Mason, has no historical connection whatsoever with that degree. Mark Grand Lodge's rule over the 'Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners' is simply a quirk of fate. It stands entirely alone and totally unrelated to any other degree in Freemasonry.
Interested? Contact your Mark Secretary or Grand Lodge Officers or anyone wearing a rainbow ribbon.
More information can be found in this pamphlet.