Order of Mark Master Masons
Ritual for the Royal Ark Mariner Degree
Form of the Lodge:
The Lodge should be laid out in Triangular form
Furniture of the Lodge:
The Commander is located in the normal position in the East, with the usual pedestal, on top of which are placed:
In the centre of the Lodge on the floor is placed a large equilateral Triangle; this should be flat, and with sides approximately 24 inches long on the inside; it has been found from experience that these dimensions will allow a Brother wearing size 12 shoes to stand comfortably in the middle, and also reach from one angle to the next in one stride without due effort. For most of the time one apex of this Triangle will point to the East; during the Ceremony of Elevation the Triangle is rotated so that one apex points to the West.
Triangular Path of Perambulation
This path is the rout followed in triangular form when moving round the Lodge. Officers are reminded that all ceremonial movements in the Lodge should whenever possible follow this triangular path.
Point of Announcement
This Point is located in the centre of the Western side of the Triangular Path of Perambulation directly in front of the chairs of the two Deacons; it is from this point that announcements to the commander are made by the Guardian, and salutes are given by Brethren entering the Lodge.
As there is often difficulty in obtaining sprigs of Olive in England and Wales, any live sprig of green may be used; the Commander must refer to it as an 'Olive Branch' when presenting it to the Candidate.
The Candidate must wear the Apron of a Mark Master Mason during the Ceremony of Elevation. The Apron of a M. M. M. should always be provided in the Ante-Room for use by any Candidate who holds a higher rank in the Mark Degree. The Candidate does not wear a Mark Jewel.
Royal Ark Mariner Apron and Jewel
For each Candidate a R.A.M. Apron and Jewel are placed on or near to the pedestal of the Senior Warden.
Form of opening a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners
An opening hymn may be sung before the Lodge
W. Comdr., seated, knocks once with sceptre, repeated by S.W. and J.W.): Brother Royal Ark Mariners, assist me to open this Royal Ark Mariner Lodge.
W. Comdr., to J.W.: Brother …, what is the first care of every Royal Ark Mariner?
J.W.: To see the Lodge secured
W. Comdr.: Direct that duty to be done.
J.W., to Guardian: Brother …, see that the Lodge is secured.
Gdn. goes to door, opens it and sees that the Warder is present; he then closes the door and returns to his station. To J.W.: Brother …, the Lodge is secured.
J.W. knocks once with sceptre; no sign; addresses Comdr.: The Lodge is secured.
W. Comdr. to S.W.: Brother …, what is the next care?
S.W.: To see that non but Royal Ark Mariners are present.
W. Comdr.: To order, Brethren, as Royal Ark Mariners. All stand to order with H. Sn. to J.W.: Son Shem, from what part of the world did Royal Ark Mariners come from?
J.W.: From the mountains of Armenia.
W. Comdr. to S.W.: Son Japheth, whither did they take their course?
S.W.: They were dispersed over the whole earth, and rested wherever the providence of God was pleased to direct them.
W. Comdr.: Then, since we have found a resting place, it is my will and pleasure that this Royal Ark Mariner Lodge be held.
All discharge the H. Sn.; then place r.h. on heart during the prayer.
Chap.: Let us beseech the continuance of the aid of the Supreme Commander of the Universe, that our labours thus begun in order may be conducted in harmony and closed in peace.
Omnes: So mote it be.
W. Comdr.: Glory be to God on High and peace to us on earth.
All drop r.h.
W. Comdr.: Son Japheth, on what is a Royal Ark Mariner lodge properly opened?
S.W.: On the mysterious Porphyry Stone.
W. Comdr.: Son Shem, why on the Porphyry Stone and not on the Volume of the Sacred Law?
J.W.: Because, at the period whence we deduce the origin of this Degree, the Sacred Writings were not in existence.
W. Comdr.: Son Japheth, I presume there are traditions with reference to the Porphyry Stone sufficiently important to justify its use as that upon which a Royal Ark Mariner Lodge should properly be opened?
S.W.: There are.
W. Comdr.: Relate them.
S.W.: The traditions connected with the Porphyry Stone associating with this Degree are three in number: First: Upon this stone the Patriarch Noah reposed when the daily returned from his pious labour in building the Ark, and it was placed by him in the centre of the Ark when finished.
Secondly: With this Stone as an Anchor of Hope did Noah fix the station of the Ark when it rested on Mount Ararat.
Thirdly: Upon this Stone Noah made his first offering to the Lord in thankfulness for his safe deliverance; and he desired that it should be fixed at the foot of Mount Ararat until the first of his descendants should be called upon to travel again by either land or water.
W. Comdr.: In the name of the Supreme Commander of the Universe, I declare this Royal Ark Mariner Lodge duly open.
Comdr. knocks with sceptre *** *, which is repeated by S.W., J.W., Gdn. and Warder. P. Comdr. goes to front of pedestal and places Triangle on the Porphyry Stone apex towards the East; P. Comdr. salutes W. Comdr. with H. Sn. and returns to his place.
W. Comdr.: Be seated, Brethren.
Ceremony of Elevation
W. Comdr., seated: Sons, since by the providence of God you have been preserved from the overwhelming waters, and have been observed and obeyed God's voice in being fruitful and multiplying on the earth, are you aware of anyone willing to join this Royal Ark Mariners Lodge, to keep up the memorial of so signal a deliverance?
Both Wardens rise with H. Sn.
S.W.: We are, and believe that, if permitted to come into our Ark, he will prove a true and faithful Brother. Both Wardens discharge H. Sn. and sit.
W. Comdr.: Brother Deacons. Deacons rise and pick up Wands. You will retire and examine the Candidate as a Mark Master Mason and prepare him according to ancient custom. S.D. hands wand to J.D., advances to Triangle, and rotates it so that an apex points to the West; he returns to his station and takes back his wand form J.D. Both Ds. Transfer wands to left hands and salute together with H. Sn.; they return wants to right hands and retire from the Lodge.
The Can. who is wearing an apron, but not the jewel of a Mark Master Mason, is examined by S.D., who demands the threefold Sn., Grip and Word of a Mark Master Mason. The Can. is then hoodwinked. The Wdr. knocks once.
Gdn., rises with H. Sn.: Brother Junior Warden, there is a report. Gdn. Discharges H. Sn.
J.W., seated, knocks once. Gdn. Goes to and opens door.
Gdn.: Who comes here?
Wdr.: Brother Deacons, on their return.
Gdn. closes door, goes to Pt. A. and with H. Sn. addresses Comdr.: Worshipful Commander, Brother Deacons on their return.
W. Comdr.: Admit them.
Gdn. discharges H. Sn., goes to and opens door. Ds. Enter and Gdn. closes door, returns to his station and sits. Ds. Proceed to their stations, salute together with H. Sn. and sit; the the replace wands in stands.
Wdr. conducts Can. hoodwinked to door and knocks * * **.
Gdn., rises, with H. Sn.: Brother Junior Warden, there is an alarm. Gdn. discharges H. Sn.
J.W., rises, knocks once, and with H. Sn.: Worshipful Commander, there is an alarm.
W. Comdr.: Son Shem, enquire who wants admission.
J.W., discharges H. Sn. and sits: Brother Guardian, see who wants admission.
Gdn. goes to and opens door: Who comes here?
Wdr.: A Mark Master Mason tried and proved.
Gdn.: What is his name?
Gdn.: How is he clothed?
Wdr.: In the habiliments of a distressed Mason
Gdn.: Is he in possession of the password?
Wdr.: He is not, but I am and will be answerable for him.
Gdn.: Give it to me. Wdr. gives password (Methuselah) to Gdn. in a whisper.
Gdn.: Let him wait patiently while a report is made to the Worshipful Commander.
Gdn. closes door, goes to Pt. A. and salutes with H. Sn.: Worshipful Commander, a Mark Master Mason tried and proved, who states his name to be Noachida, and who is clothed in the habiliments of a distressed Mason, requests admission to this Royal Ark Mariner Lodge.
W. Comdr.: Is he in possession of the password.
Gdn.: He is not, but his conductor has given it to me on his behalf.
W. Comdr.: Advance and communicate it to me.
Gdn. discharges H. Sn., advances to Comdr.'s pedestal by the P. of P. and communicates p.w. aloud.
W. Comdr.: The pass is correct.
Gdn. returns to Pt. A. by the P. of P., and faces Comdr. With H. Sn.
W. Comdr.: First assuring yourself that he has signed the required declaration, let the Candidate enter. Gdn. discharges H. Sn. Brother Deacons.
Ds. Rise and follow Gdn. to door; Gdn. opens door and ascertains from Warder that Declaration has been signed. Can. is introduced between the two Ds.; Gdn. closes door behind him. Can. is placed with his back to the closed door, flanked by Ds., S.D. on Can.'s right, J.D. on Can.'s left;
Gdn. picks up Triangle and presents one point to breast of Can.: Enter Brother Noachida.
Gdn. stands aside; Ds. Conduct Can. to Pt. A., where all face East. Gdn. returns to his station and sits.
S.D.: Salute the Worshipful Master as a Mark Master Mason.
Can. takes step and salutes with threefold sign.
Comdr. Knocks once, repeated by S.W. and J.W., all rise and stand with r.h. on heart during the prayer. S.D. prompts Can. to do likewise; Ds. cross wands.
Chaplain: Glorious Commander of Heaven and Earth, Who didst speak and it was done, Who didst command and it stood fast: we, the frail creatures of Thy providence, humbly beg the fulfilment of Thy promise that, when two or three are gathered in Thy name, Thou wilt be in their midst to do the good. In Thy name we meet to elevate a Brother, who with us ma continue to commemorate so wonderful a deliverance as that of Noah and his family from the Deluge.
Grant that he may prove a true Brother, able to unfold the mysteries of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners. May he love the Brotherhood unfeignedly, well knowing that love is the fulfilling of the Law. May we so conduct ourselves in the Ark that, when we be called hence by Thy command, we may find a refuge in the mansions of everlasting rest.
Omnes: So mote it be.
Ds. lower wands; all drop r.h.; S.D. prompts Can. to do likewise.
W. Comdr.: Be seated, Brethren.
All sit. J.D. returns to his station and sits. S.D. conducts Can. via P. of P. to East, and thence to J.W.'s pedestal, Can. is placed South of J.W. facing North; S.D. standing on his right.
J.W., seated: The first point to which you have been directed is called Beauty. This should adorn the inward man and remind us that God's Beauty shines forth throughout the whole of creation in symmetry and order. It exemplifies also the curious and masterly workmanship of Noah in the construction of the Ark, the simplicity of which was Beauty itself.
S.D. conducts Can. directly via P. of P. to S.W.'s pedestal, Can. is placed to North of S.W., facing South; S.D. standing on his right.
S.W., seated: The second point is called Strength . It denotes that the Supreme that the Supreme Commander of the Universe is Omnipotent and will support you under all difficulties. This was exemplified when the waters which overspread the face of the earth upheld the Ark in which Noah and his family were saved.
J.D. rises and rejoins Can.; S.D. conducts Can. directly via P. of P. to Comdr.'s pedestal, closely followed by J.D. All three halt in line facing Comdr.
W. Comdr.: The third and last point is called Wisdom, which reminds us that God's Wisdom is infinite and will direct you in all undertakings. Being an emblem of that divine attribute, it also represents the wisdom of Noah in building the Ark, by which mankind was preserved from perishing in the Universal Deluge.
You must take a solemn obligation if you are desirous of obtaining a knowledge of our mysteries. Are you willing to do so?
Can., prompted by S.D.: I am.
W. Comdr.: You will stand erect; give me your hands, which I now place on the Porphyry Stone.
Can. complies, and Comdr. Places both hands on P.S.; Comdr. Knocks once, repeated by S.W. and J.W.; all rise and stand to order with Sn. of F.; Ds. Cross wands.
W. Comdr.: State you names at length, and repeat after me:
I, …, in the presence of the Supreme Commander of the Universe, and before this Royal Ark Mariner Lodge, of my own free will and accord, most solemnly engage to keep inviolate the secrets and mysteries of this Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners, and to reveal them to Royal Ark Mariners only, they being well known or proved to be such after due examination, or in the body of a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners properly and lawfully assembled under the authority of the Grand Master's Royal Ark Council.
I also engage to defend the character of a Brother so far as may be consistent with my duty to God, my neighbour and myself, and to assist him so far as Prudence may lay the line and Justice hold the scales.
I further engage to answer all lawful Signs, and also Summonses when duly marked and if within the length of my cable tow. All this I solemnly promise and swear under no less a penalty than that of having my ribs broken and being overwhelmed by the waters and swept from off the face of the earth.
So help me the Supreme Commander of the Universe, and keep me steadfast in this my solemn obligation.
All discharge Sn. of F. and remain standing; Ds. Lower wands, then remove Can.'s hands from P.S.
W. Comdr.: Brother Senior Deacon, you will restore our Brother to light.
S.D. hands his wand to J.D., then removes hoodwink from Can., and hands it to D.C., who disposes of it; S.D. takes back his wand and resumes his place on right of Can.
W. Comdr.: Be seated, Brethren. All sit
W. Comdr., still standing: I present to you an Olive Branch. Comdr. Hands the Sprig of Green to Can. It is an emblem of hope and commemorates the abatement of the waters. Listen to the promise given in reference to the covenant made by God with Noah. Comdr. Sits.
Chaplain, rises and reads Isaiah, ch. 54, vv. 8 - 10.: In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. Chap. sits.
W. Comdr.: With that promise of God you may confidently meet your Brother Royal Ark Mariners, for it will comfort you in trouble, cheer you up in the hour of death and make you happy for all eternity. Remember also the further promise.
Chaplain, rises and reads Isaiah, ch. 54, v. 17.: No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Chap. sits.
W. Comdr.: Brother Senior Deacon, you will instruct our Brother how to advance the East by the proper steps.
S.D. prompts Can. to put sprig of green into a pocket; Can. complies; S.D. conducts Can. along P. of P. to position South of Triangle and facing it; J.D. follows, passes behind Can. and takes post on left of Can., on the same line. S.D. moves in front of Can., and stands one pace to the West of Western apex of Triangle, facing East.
S.D.: The method of advancing to the East in this Degree is by nine complete steps. The first four are made with the right foot leading, and the last four with the left foot leading. Each step is commenced and completed with the feet at an angle of 60° , S.D. places his feet correctly corresponding with the angles of an equilateral triangle. For your instruction I will demonstrate, and you will afterwards copy my example.
Steps 1 to 3 facing centre of Triangle, steps 4 to 9 facing East; steps 1 to 4 with right foot leading, steps 5 to 9 with left foot leading. S.D. demonstrates the nine steps; he then returns to Can. and leads him to start point, about one pace to the West of the Western apex of Triangle, with his feet at an angle of 60° .
J.D. crosses behind Can. and takes his place on the North side of the Triangle, facing East.
S.D.: Take the first four steps with the right foot leading.
Can. takes first four steps on the Triangle under the directions of S.D., who, if necessary, points with the butt of his wand.
S.D.: take the last five steps with the left foot leading.
Deacons and Can. take the last five steps together, finishing about one pace from Comdr.'s pedestal; on arrival there Deacons take one step backwards.
W. Comdr.: The Signs of the Degree are seven in number. They are the Sign of Distress, the Pass Sign; the Sign of the Dove; the Penal Sign; the Hailing Sign; the Sign of Demand; and the Sign of Security. W. Comdr. lays down sceptre and rises.
The first is the Sign of Distress or Swimming Sign. This is made by putting forth the arms in front of the body in the form of a Triangle, palms downward, and then stretching them out to the sides as if in the act of swimming. Comdr. demonstrates; Can. copies; both drop Sn.
It refers to the Antediluvians making a foolish attempt to escape to some elevated object by swimming. It also refers to the Symbol of the Degree, the Equilateral Triangle. Comdr. points to Equilateral Triangle on Porphyry Stone.
The second is the Pass Sign. This is made by raising and bending and bending the left arm in front of the head, then inclining the head forward and resting it in the hollow of the left arm, as if resting the arm on a window ledge. Comdr. shews Sn.; Can. copies; both drop Sn.
It refers to Noah looking out for the Dove and resting his head in the hollow of his left arm. Comdr. repeats Pass Sn., then drops Sn.
The third Sign is the Sign of the Dove. This is made by putting forward the right hand with the index finger extended, as if for a bird to alight on; it is then drawn back to the left shoulder, accompanied by the words "Lo, she cometh." Comdr. shews Sn.; Can. copies and repeats words, both drop Sn. It refers to Noah extending his hand for the Dove. Comdr. repeats Sn. of Dove, then drops Sn.
The fourth is the Penal Sign. This is made by putting forth the right hand as in the previous Sign; then bringing the right arm to the side of the body and striking the ribs sharply with the elbow, thus. Comdr. shews Sn.; Can. copies; both drop Sn. It alludes to the ancient penalty of the Obligation that of having the ribs broken and being overwhelmed by the waters.
The fifth is the Hailing Sign or Sign of Salute. This is given by raising the right hand and lowering it until the extended fingers are immediately over the crown of the head; this is an imperfect Rainbow Sign. Comdr. shews Sn.; Can. copies; both drop Sn. This Sign Comdr. shews Sn. again; Can. copies; both drop Sn. is given by entering or retiring from the Lodge, or when addressing the Worshipful Commander.
The sixth is the Sign of Demand or Questioning Sign. This is given by putting forth the right hand with the index finger bent and upturned, thus. Palm upwards, other fingers closed. Comdr. shews Sn.; Can. copies; This Sign is always answered by the seventh and last Sign, the Sign of Security. This is given by turning the hand over Comdr. turns his right hand over with palm down; with his left hand he takes hold of the wrist of Can. and turns Can.'s right hand over with palms down; both maintaining Sign of Demand and then joining the tip of the index finger with that of a Brother Comdr. joins the tip of his right index finger with the tip of the right index finger of Can. It refers to the perfect bow in token of the Covenant made by God with Noah. Comdr. points bow with left hand, both drop Sn.
The Grip is given by clasping the right hands, and then drawing them asunder. Comdr. demonstrates with Can.
By this Grip a Brother may be known by night as well as by day. It refers to the period when the Antediluvians, sentenced to the watery abyss, endeavoured to frustrate the wrath of Heaven by pulling each other to the summit of the hills, to the tops of trees and all other places which presented a temporary relief from the justice of Him who was pouring down destruction upon their heads. Hence it is called the Token of Distress.
The Pass or Ancient Word is Methuselah. Can. repeats.
The Covered Word is Jared Can. repeats; and the Sacred Word is Lamech Can. repeats. I would remind you that Lamech, Methuselah and Jared were respectively the Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather of Noah. Comdr. sits and picks up Sceptre.
Brother Senior Deacon, you will conduct our Brother to Son Shem.
S.D. leads Can. along P. of P. to J.W.; they both halt and face North-West in the line along P. of P.; J.D. follows, passes behind both and takes position on left of Can., also facing North-West.
J.W.: A Brother's distress may arise from three different causes.
Firstly, from circumstances of difficulty, wherein it may be necessary to seek a Brother's advice. The Brother hailed will give such advice as may be in his power, in faithfulness and truth, his conduct being squared by that rule which saith "Do unto others as you would that they do unto you".
Secondly, a Brother's distress may arise from excessive poverty. He may not have a meal to eat or proper clothing to put on. If this be the case, the Brother to whom ot may be made known would do well to relieve such distress, remembering that it is more blessed to give than to receive; for whoso seeth his Brother hath heed and shutteth up his compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? Therefore, as wise stewards of the manifold gifts of God, we should always have a hand and heart ready to help a distresses Brother.
Thirdly, a Brother's distress may arise from being situated among enemies, so as to render it necessary to call upon a Brother to aid him with his bodily strength. J.W. rises with H. Sn. The Brother who perceives the H. Sn. should immediately come to his assistance. J.W. discharges H. Sn. and sits. Such should be his love for his Brother, if he believes him to be worthy, that he would sooner die by his side than desert him.
On occasions of importance the Triangle is always placed on a Royal Ark Mariner summons; in such cases you must attend if possible. If prevented by unavoidable circumstances you must send your reasons in writing with the same mark; the Brother or Lodge receiving your communication will accept it as a discharge of your duty.
W. Comdr.: Brother Senior Deacon, you will conduct our Brother to Son Japheth to be invested.
S.D. conducts Can. along P. of P. to S.W., followed by J.D.; Can. is placed North of S.W.'s pedestal, facing South; Ds. Stand behind Can. also facing South; S.D. removes Can.'s Mark apron, and hands it to J.D. who disposes of it. S.W. rises and lays down Sceptre.
S.W.: Brother …, I invest you with this apron, S.W. invests Can with R.A.M. apron, assisted by S.D. if necessary and decorate you with this jewel S.W. pins jewel on Can.'s left breast. I enjoin you never put on this apron if you are angry with a Brother, for it is an emblem of love and virtue, and as such is more valuable than any gift an Emperor or King can bestow. Therefore first be reconciled with your Brother, that you may sit down in concord and fraternal affection. To as many as walk by this rule, Peace be unto them.
S.W. sits and picks up sceptre.
S.D. conducts Can. via P. of P. to Comdr.'s pedestal, J.D. follows, all facing East; Deacons one pace to the rear of the Can.
W. Comdr., seated, points to Working Tools lying on pedestal in front of him as appropriate: I present you the Working Tools of a Royal Ark Mariner, with which Noah worked when he built the Ark.
These are an Axe, with which he cut down trees and squared them; a Saw, with which he sawed those trees into planks; and a Auger, with which he made holes in the planks.
Also with the Axe he cut out pins and drove them in, by which means the planks were kept together. By the wisdom and cunning workmanship of Noah, that beautiful structure, the Ark, was formed, the strength of which proved the temporal salvation of himself and his family and all the living creatures contained therein.
These tools have other meanings, which I will explain to you. The Axe felled the trees, and they, being cut down, are 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 mankind by the Lord. The Auger, making holes in the planks, teaches us the use of affliction in producing self-abasement and searchings of the heart.
As the Ark was built by these tools. So we are shewn that by perseverance in faith, hope and love, we may be shut into an Ark of safety, when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the whole earth shall be dissolved.
The triangular perambulation which you took after your entrance was to fix in your mind the form of the Lodge. The reason you were stopped at the three points was to remind you that Wisdom, Strength and Beauty were displayed in the construction of the Ark, they having also the moral signification then explained to you.
Your erect posture on entering into your obligation was meant to remind you of the position in which Noah stood when he offered up the sacrifice to God in thanksgiving for his safe deliverance from the Deluge. The Supreme Commander of the Universe then fixed His bow in the sky and established His covenant with Noah that the waters should no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
The principal officers of the Lodge represent Noah and his two sons, Japheth and Shem W. Comdr. points to each in turns as he mentions them. The Triangle is also emblematical of the Sun, Moon and Stars, in this sense: those in the highest sphere of life have the largest province wherein to do good, but those of an inferior degree will be as eminently distinguished if they move regularly and prove useful members of society. The highest is he who performs his part best, not he who fills the most exalted position: for the Moon, although borrowing her light from the Sun, evidently sets forth the glory of God; and the flowers of the field declare His power equally with the stars of the firmament.
You will now attend to an explanation of the nine steps.
Deacons and Can. move backward in line to the South and stand along the P. of P. facing North, so that Can. can watch. S.W. leaves his station carrying his sceptre and goes directly to the Western apex of the Triangle, and stands facing East with his feet at an angle of 60° .
S.W.: The first three steps taken on the Triangle in a manner conform the first regular steps in Symbolic or Craft Masonry; but here they have an additional import. You have already been told that the three points of the Triangle are synonymous with Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. Man, in his ignorance, at the commencement of his pilgrimage believes himself secure, and, oftentimes discarding the use of the unerring compass, strays from the true course, and thus incurs the risk of being overwhelmed by the waters.
Having, however, taken the first regular step S.W. takes first step r.f. leading and completes it his feet rests apparently upon solid ground and his eyes are opened to look upon the spot where Beauty reigns. The danger now threatening him is even greater than before, for should his step deviate from the straight line his fate will be that of the bullrush swayed to and fro by every breath. S.W. indicates swaying of bullrush by gently waving his sceptre in front of him.
If, however, my Brother, you take the second step firmly S.W. takes second step with r.f. and manfully S.W. completes second step with l.f. resting upon the point of Strength, you will find yourself on the road to Wisdom, and thenceforward your path is easy, for when Wisdom S.W. takes third step with r.f. guides S.W. completes third step with l.f. your footsteps, you may with confidence rely on attaining to that eminence which is the object of your desires, and the end and aim of all your efforts.
The fourth step S.W. takes fourth step with r.f. into middle of Triangle facing East and completes step with l.f. brings you into the middle of the Triangle, whence surrounded by Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, S.W. indicates the three points of Triangle with the butt of his sceptre as he names them you may mount the ladder until you reach the Ark, the haven of rest.
The last five steps imply that, during your onward course, you must always be careful to practise, without remission, those five Cardinal Virtues peculiarly characteristic of Masonry: S.W. takes fifth step with l.f. leading
Watchfulness; S.W. takes sixth step
Discretion; S.W. takes seventh step
Brotherly Love; S.W. takes eighth step
Truth; S.W. takes ninth step
and Charity. S.W. does not salute or bow to Comdr.; he returns along P. of P. via South and West to his station and sits.
Deacons and Can. then move forward together in line and stand in front of Comdr.
W. Comdr.: As certain fees will be required for your elevation, it is but right that you should be informed by what authority we act. Comdr. rises and displays to Can. Warrant of Lodge handed to him by I.P.Comdr. This is our Warrant of Constitution from the Grand Lodge of Mark master Masons in England and Wales and its Districts and Lodges Overseas; it is open for your inspection at this meeting or at any other meeting of the Lodge. Comdr. hands Warrant back to I.P.Comdr. and sits. The regulations of the Order are included with the Constitutions and Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, Comdr. picks up a copy and shews it to Can. of which you have already received a copy.
These are the By-Laws of this Lodge. Comdr. hands copy of By-Laws to Can. From both of these you will learn your duties to the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners in general and this Lodge in particular.
You are now entitled to take your seat in a Royal Ark Mariner Lodge.
Comdr. offers a welcome to Can.; both Ds. Conduct Can. to a seat in the South, then return via P. of P. to their stations;
S.D. hands wand to J.D.; S.D. advances to Triangle and turns it so that an apex points to the East; S.D. returns to his station and takes back his wand from J.D.; both Ds. Sit and replace their wands in the stands.
Form of closing a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners
W. Comdr., seated, knocks once with sceptre,
repeated by Wardens; Comdr. rises: I rise to enquire whether
any Brother has aught to propose for the good of the Fraternity in general
or of this Royal Ark Mariner Lodge in particular?
Comdr. sits., knocks once with sceptre, repeated by Wardens: Brother
Royal Ark Mariners, assist me to close the Lodge.
W. Comdr.: Son Shem, what is the constant care of every Royal Ark Mariner?
J.W., with H. Sn.: To prove that the Lodge is secured.
W. Comdr.: Direct that duty to be done.
J.W., discharges H. Sn.: Brother Guardian, prove that the Lodge is secured.
Gdn. goes to door and knocks *** *, Warder replies; Gdn. returns to his station; gives H. Sn.: Brother Junior Warden, the Lodge is secured. Discharges H. Sn.
J.W., knocks with sceptre *** * and gives H. Sn.: Worshipful Commander, the Lodge is secured.
W. Comdr.: Son Japheth, what is the next care?
S.W., with H. Sn.: To see that the Brethren stand to order as Royal Ark Mariners.
W. Comdr.: To order, Brethren, as Royal Ark Mariners.
All stand to order with H. Sn.
Chaplain: Before the Lodge is closed, let us beseech the Supreme Commander of the Universe, who maketh the storm cease and the waves to be still, the wilderness to be a standing water and the water springs a dry ground, to have us in His good keeping until we meet again in His name, or until it is His pleasure that we be received into the Ark of His Covenant.
Omnes: So mote it be.
W. Comdr.: Son Japheth, the labours of this Degree being ended, you have my command to close this Royal Ark Mariner Lodge. Knocks with sceptre with left hand *** *.
S.W.: Brethren, in the name of the Supreme Commander of the Universe and by command of the Worshipful Master, I close the Lodge.
All discharge H. Sn.; S.W. knocks with sceptre *** *.
J.W.: and it is closed accordingly until the next regular meeting, emergencies excepted of which due notice will be given. Knocks with sceptre *** *.
Gdn. goes to door and knocks *** *; Warder replies *** *; Gdn. remains at door. P. Comdr. goes to front of pedestal, removes Triangle from Porphyry Stone and returns to his place.
P. Comdr.: Nothing now remains but according to ancient custom to lock up our secrets in the safe repository of our hearts, uniting in the act of Fidelity Fidelity Fidelity, Fidelity.
All place r.h. on heart four times to the rhythm of the knocks of the Degree.
A closing hymn may now be sung.