Nine reasons to join the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariner
Membership of the unique and independent Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariner or R.A.M. Degree is restricted to Brethren who are already Mark Master Masons. It is the only Order in Freemasonry requiring membership of the Mark Degree alone. On entry to the Fraternity there is one, relatively short 45-minute ceremony, which is called an ‘Elevation’.
The R.A.M. Degree is regarded as ‘the beautiful Degree’ and is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring to be found in Freemasonry. It teaches many interesting and valuable lessons and contains some of the most beautiful ritual in all Freemasonry. The regalia worn is amongst the most attractive in the whole landscape of Freemasonry being symbolically composed of rainbow colours.
The Fraternity is more than just another Masonic Degree. There is a very different ‘feel’ about this Degree than many others, which is difficult to explain. A very real bond of fellowship exists amongst Royal Ark Mariners and is one of the core aspects of the Fraternity.
The R.A.M. Degree takes its rise from the story of Noah and the Great Flood, one of the oldest biblical stories. However, traces of this Degree can be found in Craft workings going back well over 300 years. The Degree has been under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales since 1871 but is known to have been worked in Mark Lodges since 1790.
Every Royal Ark Mariner Lodge is ‘moored’ to a Lodge of Mark Master Masons and bears the same number but not necessarily the same name. It is common for R.A.M. Lodges to meet on the same day as the Mark Lodge to which they are attached and to hold a joint Festive Board. The core messages of the two Degrees beautifully complement each other.
In the Mark Degree you learn the value of always doing what you know to be right and of staying on a righteous path when others do not appreciate your actions. The Royal Ark Mariner Degree builds on this by demonstrating the strength to be found as part of a family or group working together to do whatever is right in the face of great adversity. Both Degrees, therefore, teach the message, amongst others, that virtue has its own reward. It also further develops the idea that is the keynote of initiation: the making of a new beginning or the adoption of a new outlook on life.
As a reflection of the esteem in which the Fraternity is held, executive officers of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons must have been Obligated as Royal Ark Mariners, and be Installed Commanders of a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners, prior to their appointment. The Fraternity is governed by the Grand Master’s Royal Ark Council. The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales, M.W. Bro. HRH Prince Michael of Kent, is automatically the Grand Master of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariner.
8. A Daily Advancement
Elevation into the R.A.M. Degree is another step in a Freemason’s journey of discovery and represents another daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.
Membership of the R.A.M. Fraternity is regarded as an important consideration for appointment to senior positions within the Mark Province of Kent.