Royal Ark Mariners Degree

ROYAL ARK MARINER

 

The Royal Ark Mariner, a companion degree is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, rite in Masonry. As its name suggests, it is based on the legend of Noah and the Great deluge, an event of such importance as to have impressed itself on the religious dogmas and rites of all the nations which have succeeded it. We find allusions to it in the annals of every people, and some memorial of it in their religious observances. These have served to maintain a veneration for the second parent of the human race, and a great reverence for his historical vessel.  The ceremony of elevation into the Antient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners is a truly initiatory rite.  As in the Craft it is based on the triumvirate of wisdom, strength and beauty, but in this instance, refers particularly to the wisdom of Noah in constructing the Ark, his strength of character and the beauty of his workmanship. But there are other significant messages, and even for the experienced Mason, a powerful reminder of our reliance on a spiritual as well as material enlightenment.

 

The rainbow ribbon which decorates the regalia of the degree provides a colourful spectacle to all its ceremonies. But despite its great age, it is essentially a thinking man’s degree, conducted in a friendly, intimate and rewarding atmosphere.

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The Royal Ark Mariners Degree

by Prof. Dr. Barry Venkata Subbarao

(RAM RGO (1998) and PCN-RAM Lodge Waltair No.15, Visakhapatnam)

The candidate is 'Passed' in the Fellow Craft and Advanced in the Mark degree representing horizontal progress In the secular world. In the Master Masons degree, he is 'Raised', In the Holy Royal Arch, he is 'Exalted' and in the Royal Arch Manners, he is 'Elevated'-all representing a vertical progress. He then enters the Ark - the heaven of rest, peace and happiness. Adam and Eve, lived in the Garden of Eden in perfect happiness. But when they ate the forbidden fruit, God drove them out into the world. The family of Man began to grow in numbers. They all forgot their divine origin and became wicked, unrighteous, greedy etc. God told Noah that He would destroy man and all forms of life on the earth. Noah was seventh in the Genealogy of Adam and Eve. The word Noah means 'a good man'. God ordered Noah to build an Ark out of Gophar wood. Noah complied. It had three stories with an entrance only on one side and a window, one cubit high. God asked Noah to get into the Ark along with his wife, his three sons and their wives, a pair of every other living thing (male and female) seven 'clean' beasts and food for all. God created torrential rain and the flood lasted 150 days. The waters rose steadily and everything living on earth was destroyed. Noah and his family representing righteousness were protected by being shut up in the Ark. The candidate who joins the R. A. M. degree is called a NOACHIDA meaning "New Child". as an emblem of innocence and purity of heart, Every NOACHIDA represents a 'distressed mason' fleeing away from evil and wickedness and is brought back into the safety of the Ark. The Olive Branch in the beak of the Dove is a symbol of hope of a better 'after life'. The badge with which the Brother is invested is an emblem of love and virtue. The triangular perambulation taken by the candidate after his entrance remind him of the wisdom, strength and beauty displayed in the construction of the Ark. T. ... is emblematical of Sun, Moon and Stars. The candidate ascends the ladder by five steps to reach the. Ark representing the five cardinal virtues peculiarly characteristic of Masonry - watchfulness, Discretion, Brotherly love, Truth and Charity. The working tools of an Ark Mariner are the axe, the saw and the auger. The axe felled the trees and is emblematic of the fall of the old world. The saw dividing the timber into planks is emblematic of the separation of Noah and his family from the rest of the mankind. The auger making holes in the planks teaches us the use of affliction in producing self abasement and searching’s of the heart. We learn that by perseverance in faith, hope and love, we may be shut into an Ark of safety in time of need. For one year and 27 days, the water receded and the earth became completely dry. Noah then left the Ark along with all the living things. Noah built an Altar and gave burnt offerings to the Lord as a token of thankfulness for his deliverance. The Lord promised that he would never again bring about such destruction on man. Noah was 600 years old at the time of flood and he lived for another 350 years. N, The Lodge is properly opened on the mysterious R. S. N. ... reposed upon this S...  When Noah daily returned from his labors in building the Ark. He placed it in the centre of the Ark when finished. Upon this 8...N.... made his first offering to Lord in thankfulness for his sale deliverance. Three R.A. Mariners are enough to open R. A. M. Lodge. In this degree, the brethren assemble symbolically in the Ark. The W. C. N., the S. W. and the J. W. are seated respectively in the East, the North and the South at the corners of an E. T. The three points symbolically represent wisdom, strength and beauty.