The Ceremony of Installation
of a Commander is conducted by an Installed Commander, who on most occasions
will be the outgoing Commander of the Lodge; for the sake of convenience
the Installing Commander is referred to throughout as I.Cdr.
If the Commander elect (Cdr.elect) is not fully qualified to be installed into the Chair, either because he has not served the office of Warden in a regular Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners for the full period of one year, or because he has not served as Master of a Lodge of Mark Master Masons, then it will have been necessary to have obtained a dispensation from the appropriate authority in accordance with Regulation No. 8 for the government of the Degree of Royal Ark Mariner.
The Worshipful Commander (seated) may thank his officers (who remain seated) for their services during the year.
If the outgoing Commander is not to carry out the Ceremony, he will invite the Installing Commander to take the Chair.
The Installing Commander will invite Past Commanders to occupy the Chairs of Senior Warden and Junior Warden and to undertake the office of Guardian. The outgoing Wardens and the Guardian remove their collars and place them on their chairs and the two Wardens proffer their sceptres to the Past Commanders before being conducted to their seats elsewhere by the Director of Ceremonies (D.C.) (If one of the Wardens is the Commander elect he should be seated in the South West) Other officers, without invitation, will continue to discharge their duties.
D.C. presents Commander elect in the West and remains with him.
D.C., with court bow: Worshipful Commander (or Worshipful Installing Commander), I present to you Brother Ö, the Commander elect of this Lodge for the ensuing year, to receive at your hands the benefit of Installation, the better to qualify him for the discharge of his important trust.
I.Cdr.: Brethren, as it is your wish that ... should be Commander of this Lodge, I will at once proceed with the Ceremony of Installation.
I.Cdr.: Brother Ö, have you duly served the office of Warden for a full year in a lawfully constituted Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners?
Cdr. Elect: I have.
I.Cdr.: Have you been duly installed in the Chair of a Lodge of Mark Master Masons?
Cdr. Elect: I have.
If the answer to either of the last two questions is in the negative, the I.Cdr. will request the Scribe to read the dispensation at this point.
I.Cdr.: You will now attend to the Scribe who will read the ancient charges and regulations, to each of which you must shew your assent by placing your right hand upon your heart.
Scribe, rises, salutes the Installing Commander, and reads: Do you agree to hold in veneration the rulers of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners and their regular successors supreme and subordinate according to their stations and to submit to the decisions of the Grand Masterís Royal Ark Council, being in every respect consistent with the Regulations of the Degree?
Do you promise to respect true and regular Royal Ark Mariners, and to discountenance impostors?
Do you agree to promote the general good of the Degree and to propagate the knowledge of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners so far as your influence and ability extend?
Do you promise to pay homage and strictly to conform to the edicts of the Grand Master for the time being?
Do you admit that no new Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners can be properly formed without the permission of the Grand Masterís Royal Ark Council and that no countenance shall be given to any irregular Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners or to any person elevated therein?
Scribe, salutes the Installing Commander and resumes his seat.
I.Cdr.: Do you submit to and promise to uphold these Regulations as your predecessors have done in all ages?
Cdr.elect: I do.
D.C. conducts Cdr. elect to a seat next to the A.D.C. and resumes his own station.
I.Cdr.: I will now thank the Brethren below the rank of Installed Commander to withdraw.
Those Brethren, with the exception of Cdr.elect, withdraw from the Lodge without saluting. The D.C. should request all officers to leave their collars on their seats.
D.C. conducts Cdr.elect from
his seat to a position just to the East of the Triangle on the floor and
remains with him.
I.Cdr: I declare this a duly constituted Assembly of Installed Commanders.
Knocks once, not repeated by Wardens.
I.Cdr.: The Brethren will rise, turn to the East and assume the sign of reverence.
Brethren place right hand on heart without kneeling; D.C. prompts Cdr.elect to do likewise.
I.Cdr. (or Chap.): Let us pray. Most Glorious Commander of Heaven and Earth, Whose eyes pervade the Universe, Who seest every minute circumstance therein, our intentions being perfectly known to Thee, fulfill now our request according to the riches of Thy mercy. Cause Thy Holy Spirit to descend on this Brother who is set apart as a representative of righteous Noah to teach and govern the Brethren of this Lodge; may his rule be regulated by true wisdom, that they may have unity of spirit in the bond of peace and that all their work may tend to Thy Glory.
Omnes: So mote it be.
Brethren drop right hand and turn to face inwards. D.C. prompts Cdr.elect to drop right hand
I.Cdr.: Brother Ö , you will now take the solemn Obligation of a Commander. You will advance to the pedestal. D.C. conducts Cdr.elect to the pedestal and returns to his station.
You will stand erect, place your right hand on the Porphyry Stone and elevate your left hand towards Heaven.
Brethren shew Sign of Fidelity.
State your several names at length and repeat after me
I, Ö, do hereby agree to accept the office of Commander of this the Ö Lodge, No ... on the Roll of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners and solemnly promise faithfully. zealously and conscientiously to discharge the duties thereof, to the best of my ability, until the next annual period of election within the Lodge and until a successor shall have been elected and installed in my stead.
I also promise that I will do my utmost to forward the interests of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners, whensoever and wheresoever it may be possible. I further promise that I will not divulge the secrets restricted to the Commanderís Chair to any but those duly qualified to receive them.
So help me the Supreme Commander of the Universe and keep me steadfast in this the great and solemn Obligation of Commander.
I.Cdr.: I now acknowledge you as a duly obligated Commander of a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners.
Brethren discharge Sign of Fidelity.
I.Cdr. lifts right hand of Cdr.elect clear of Porphyry Stone, and releases it; he prompts Cdr.elect to lower his left hand.
I.Cdr. lays down his sceptre on pedestal, which he leaves by the South side; he takes Cdr.elect by both hands, turns him anticlockwise until both face West; they then advance together and take post about two paces to the East of the Triangle, Cdr.elect on the left of I.Cdr.
D.C. requests Brother Commanders to form a circle round the triangle. He then takes a container of salt and offers it first to the I.Cdr., then to the Cdr.elect and then in turn to each Commander clockwise round the circle; each takes a pinch of salt with his right forefinger and thumb and places it on the back of his clenched left hand.
I.Cdr: When the Arab of the desert has tasted salt with his guest, that guest is sacred to him, even if his hands be red with the blood of the father or son of his host. Let us in like manner seal our vows of fidelity to the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners.
I.Cdr. then recites the following, phrase by phrase, which is repeated by all present.
With this salt I confirm my vow, and whenever any Brother Commander who has tasted this salt of inviolable faith, or anyone on his behalf, shall call upon me to aid him in distress, need or danger, and with the mark of the Triangle, this solemn pledge shall be redeemed.
All Commanders taste salt, after which the D.C. requests them to resume their stations
I.Cdr. turns Cdr.elect to face him.
I.Cdr.: The Grip is given thus: an ordinary handclasp, a slip, then put your right hand on your heart, then raise your right hand towards heaven. Symbolically this Grip implies: However strong the ties of friendship may be in this life, death must intervene, but there will be a memory in our hearts and finally a rallying place in the Grand Lodge above.
The Sign is given by raising both hands over the head with the fingertips touching; thus performing a Perfect Bow, in contrast to the 'imperfect rainbow' Sign of the Degree.
The Pass Word is Apo-Baterion, meaning: a sacrifice after landing. The Word is Ararat and the Grand Word is El Elohim, meaning 'Lord God'.
D.C. presents Commanderís apron on cushion to I.Cdr.; he then removes R.A.M. apron from Cdr.elect.
I.Cdr.: I now invest you with the badge of an Installed Commander.
I.Cdr. assisted by D.C., invests Cdr. with Commanderís apron.
I also invest you with the Collar and Jewel, the insignia of the Office of Commander of the Lodge.
D.C. resumes his station.
I.Cdr. grasps right hand of Cdr.elect and, walking backwards leads him via the North side of Commanders pedestal to a position in front of the Chair. I.Cdr, resting his left hand on right shoulder of Cdr.elect, places him in the Chair.
I.Cdr.: With the Grip and the Word Ararat I now place you in the Chair of Commander of the Lodge.
I.Cdr. slips Grip, places his right hand on heart, and raises his right hand towards Heaven.
I.Cdr. picks up Sceptre and hands it to Commander.
I.Cdr.: I deliver to you this Sceptre, which shows your authority to the Brethren.
I.Cdr. goes to front of pedestal, faces Commander, and salutes him as an Installed Commander and then returns to South side of pedestal.
I.Cdr.: Worshipful Commander, will you now be pleased to invest the Immediate Past Commander?
I.Cdr.: Brother Commanders, I call upon you to salute our newly installed Commander with five, taking the time from me.
Installed Commanders salute Commander with Perfect Bow Sign five times.
I.Cdr.: Worshipful Commander, will you be pleased to close this Assembly of Installed Commanders?
Cdr.: I declare this Assembly of Installed Commanders closed.
Knocks once, not repeated by Wardens.
I.Cdr.: Be seated, Brethren.
END OF INNER WORKING
D.C. offers Collar and Jewel
of Immediate Past Commander to Commander, who rises and invests Immediate
Past Commander with suitable words; Commander then sits.
I.Cdr.: Brother Guardian, admit the Brethren.
Visiting Brethren are admitted first and, without saluting, return to their seats.
Brethren of the Lodge are admitted and, under the direction of the D.C., form a line along the Northern path of perambulation, facing inwards. D.C. takes his place at the East end of the line.
I.Cdr.: Brother Royal Ark Mariners, during your temporary absence, Worshipful Brother Ö has been duly installed as Commander of this Lodge, and I call upon you to proceed round the Lodge saluting him as Royal Ark Mariners in passing.
D.C. leads procession round the Lodge; each Brother salutes Commander as a Royal Ark Mariner without halting; procession reforms line as before.
I.Cdr.: Brethren, I now proclaim Worshipful Brother Ö Worshipful Commander of the Ö Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners, No. ... on the Roll of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners, until the next regular period of election within the Lodge and until a successor shall have been duly elected and installed in his stead and I call upon you to greet him as Royal Ark Mariners with three, taking the time from me.
Brethren greet Commander with handclaps in the rhythm of the knocks of the Degree three times. They remain standing.
I.Cdr. requests Commander to stand.
I.Cdr.: Worshipful Commander, I hand to you the Volume of the Sacred Law, which contains the rules by which all Royal Ark Mariners should regulate their actions
I.Cdr. requests Commander to sit.
I.Cdr.: I present to you the Regulations for the Government of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners, which are included in the Constitutions and Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, and by which you will govern those under your rule; also the By-Laws which you are to enforce in your Lodge.
D C.: The Brethren will be upstanding, for the presentation of the Warrant.
I.Cdr opens Warrant and he and the Commander hold it by the two top corners, so that it is displayed to the Brethren.
I.Cdr.: I now entrust to your charge the Warrant of the Lodge, which is the authority under which its meetings are held.
Commander relinquishes hold of Warrant, which I.Cdr. puts away.
D.C.: Be seated, Brethren.
D.C. instructs Brethren to turn left and follow him. D.C. halts in front of his chair and faces inwards. The Brethren triangulate on the Path of Perambulation, halt in front of their respective chairs and face inwards.
When all are in position the D.C. gives a court bow and all sit.
I.Cdr.: Worshipful Commander, will you now be pleased to appoint and invest your officers?
I.Cdr. sits on the immediate left of the Commander.
The presentation of officers for investiture is normally done by the D.C. from a position to the East of the Triangle; D.C. does not salute, as he has his wand in his hand; a court bow will suffice. D.C. asks Commander whom he appoints to each office. Officers to be invested who are Past Commanders are conducted to the South side of the Commanderís pedestal; all other Officers to the North side. Sceptres are not brought to the Commander for presentation to the Wardens, wands are not presented to the Deacons or the A.D.C. The A.D.C. may collect the relevant collar, which he hands to the D.C. at the Commanderís pedestal. The Commander invests each officer with a few appropriate words; there are no formal addresses to the officers being invested. In the case of the Treasurer and the Warder, both of whom are elected officers, D.C. should announce each with suitable words It is sufficient for officers to acknowledge their investiture with a court bow.
When the Warder is due to be invested, the Commander will give two knocks, not repeated by the Wardens. When the Warder enters the Lodge, the Guardian will take his place outside the door. After the Warder has retired, D.C. may announce
D.C.: Worshipful Commander, that concludes the appointment of your Officers.