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The Beautiful Degree



The Royal Ark Mariner Degree is around two hundred years old and as the

name suggests, has a nautical flavour, taking for it’s setting, the circumstances

leading up to the Great Flood and the steps taken by Noah to build the Ark, by

which mankind was preserved from perishing in the Universal Deluge.



The Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariner, more commonly

known as RAM, has been under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Mark

Master Masons, since 1871 and is governed by the Grand Masters Royal Ark

Council.

Its early history, however is obscure. Statutes refer to Grand Lodge being

reconstituted in 1772 and, it is recorded that the Grand Lodge of Mark Master

Masons took possession of the rights to the Grand Lodge of Royal Ark Mariner

on June 19th 1884, for just £25.


Lodges are attached, or moored, to Mark Lodges assuming their Number in

the Roll.

To be a member, the Candidate has to have been advanced as a

Mark Master Mason.


However, there the similarity ends. In chronological terms, it precedes the

Mark Degree by hundreds of years because it relates to the building and

voyage of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood and has none of the other

characters we meet in freemasonry.


There are no individual Ranks within either Province or Grand Lodge. Brethren

holding those ranks suffix their name with Royal Ark Mariner Provincial Grand

Rank or, Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank. The Grand Master of the Mark is, ipso

facto, the Grand Master of the Degree of Royal Ark Mariner.


The Elevation into the Royal Ark Mariner degree consists of one ceremony. It

usually takes around 45 minutes and again there are some beautiful sections

that will make a lasting impression on the candidates.


The ethos of the Degree contains events before, during and after the great deluge

and is based on the story of Noah, his family and the Ark, which closely parallels

the story of creation: a cycle of creation, desolation, and re-creation, in which the

Ark plays a pivotal role.


The story of the building of an Ark and the great deluge is told in the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ as recorded on a stone tablet some 4000 years old, now in the British Museum.

Recent scientific discoveries have placed the flooding of the Black Sea to a period

8000 years ago when the wall of rock restraining the Mediterranean Sea from the

Black (Sea) Lake crumbled eastwards and the waters flowed into what is now the

Black Sea.

This event saw water levels rise relentlessly for many days and when aligned with

evidence of language and human migration in the same period, demonstrates that the Royal Ark Mariner Degree is centred on historical events.




Royal Ark Mariner Regalia

The Regalia is extremely colourful and they reflect all the colours of the

rainbow.

There are three distinctive aprons within the degree. Firstly, when a brother is

elevated, he wears an apron with rosettes surrounded by bands of colour

reflecting the colours of the rainbow. In addition, they are presented with a

representation of a Dove on a Breast Jewel. Once made an Officer in the

Lodge they will wear a collar with the jewel of the Office they hold.









Once a Brother has progressed through the Lodge and reached the Chair, he

then wears the apron of Worshipful Commander. Although it still has the

colourful banding, the rosettes are replaced by triangles of white metal and are

a representation of the layout of the Lodge. They then replace the Dove Breast

Jewel, with a capital N, still retaining the Dove, denoting that they are a Past

Commander representing the Patriarch Noah.










After a number of requisite years from when a Brother has passed the Chair,

they qualify to receive Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank. This is

presented by the Provincial Grand Master at Grand Assembly, held in May

each year. The apron is unchanged, but he is then entitled to wear a Provincial

Collarette. (Pictured Below)












After a further number of years of continued support for the Royal Ark

Mariner Degree, a brother may be invited to become a holder of Royal Ark

Mariner Grand Rank. This honour is presented by The Grand Master at Grand

Assembly held in London in December each year. The collarette changes from

white coloured metal to gold and includes a further gold emblem on the

collarette and collar.



In Worcestershire we currently have seventeen Royal Ark Mariner Lodges. Our meeting rooms are based throughout the Province and Lodges usually meet on

the same evenings as the Mark Lodges to which they are moored.


As with the Mark Degree we also have an Installed Commander Lodge, which

meets twice a year and the Grand Assembly is held following the completion of

the May meeting.


Royal Ark Mariner Lodges meet at the following meeting Halls :-


Evesham

St Egwin Lodge RAM 1335.


Redditch

Bromsgrove Lodge RAM No.1334

St Lawerence Lodge RAM No 893


Halesowen

Abraham Green Lodge RAM No. 330

Perseverance Lodge RAM No. 733

Mosaic Lodge RAM No. 1136


Stourbridge

Athlumny Lodge RAM No. 590


Stourport

Vernon Lodge RAM No. 923

Tenbury Wells

Teme Valley Lodge RAM No. 1260


Kings Heath

Moseley Lodge RAM No. 667

Stechford Lodge RAM No. 747

Eaton Lodge RAM No. 977

All Saints Lodge RAM No. 1462

The Centenary Lodge RAM No. 1623

Worcester

Malvern Ark Lodge RAM No. 59

Malvern Priory Lodge RAM No. 1351

Worcestershire Installed Commanders Lodge No.1409


Northfield

Millennium Lodge MMM No. 1822


For more information about Royal Ark Mariner Masonry in Worcestershire or for a more personal discussion please call: 07305 241282 or email; provinfo@worcestershiremarkpgl.org.uk


W.Bro Paul Alan Yarnell PGJD RAMGR

Deputy Provincial Grand Master Worcestershire MMM & RAM


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