The Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners is a unique and captivating degree within Freemasonry that delves into the symbolism and teachings associated with Noah’s Ark and the flood. This Masonic degree offers members an opportunity to explore maritime symbolism, ancient legends, and moral lessons. In this article, we will explore the historical origins, rituals, teachings, and significance of the Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners.
Historical origins of the Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners can be traced back to the early 19th century in England. The degree is believed to have been created as an extension of the Mark Master Masons degree, further exploring the story of Noah’s Ark and the preservation of life during the Great Flood.
The rituals of the Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners are steeped in symbolism and allegory. The ceremonies often involve the re-enactment of biblical events, such as the building of Noah’s Ark, the gathering of animals, and the survival of Noah and his family during the flood. These dramatic portrayals allow members to experience the lessons of faith, perseverance, and survival. Symbolism plays a vital role in the degree, with the Ark itself being a central symbol. It represents a place of safety, preservation, and divine guidance. Other symbols used in the degree include the dove, the rainbow, and the anchor. These symbols convey messages of hope, promise, and steadfastness in the face of adversity.
The Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners imparts valuable lessons to its members, focusing on the virtues of faith, integrity, and moral rectitude. The degree encourages members to emulate the qualities of Noah – obedience to divine instruction, dedication to duty, and trust in a higher power. The teachings emphasize the importance of unity and brotherhood, reminding members of their responsibility to support and protect one another. The degree also underscores the significance of preserving knowledge, wisdom, and the Masonic heritage for future generations.
The Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners is considered an additional or side degree within Freemasonry. It is typically conferred separately from the mainstream Masonic bodies. Membership in the Fraternity is open to Master Masons who have completed the third degree of Craft Masonry. The degree of Royal Ark Mariner is often integrated with other Masonic bodies, such as the Mark Master Masons, the Holy Royal Arch, or the Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees. This integration allows Freemasons to deepen their understanding of maritime symbolism and explore the interconnected nature of Masonic degrees.
The Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners offers Freemasons a unique and meaningful exploration of maritime symbolism and biblical stories. Through its rituals, symbolism, and teachings, the degree allows members to reflect on the lessons of faith, perseverance, and brotherhood. It reminds Freemasons of the importance of preserving knowledge and embodying virtuous principles in their personal and Masonic lives. The Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners adds richness and depth to the Masonic journey, offering Freemasons an opportunity to navigate the mysteries of maritime symbolism and embrace the timeless wisdom contained within the story of Noah’s Ark.