If you are interested in joining a Lodge of very enthusiastic and friendly Masons, please contact the Lodge Secretary or the Mark Provincial Grand Secretary who will be happy to supply you with an application form on the completion of which we can set the wheels in motion for an early entrance into one of the most enjoyable areas of Freemasonry.
The Craft book of Constitutions tells us that Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and including the Holy Royal Arch
This is a somewhat strange statement bearing in mind that prior to the union of the Two Grand Lodges in 1813; a form of Mark Degree was extensively worked both in London and the Provinces. Indeed there exists a document in the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham the last page of which is dated 1756 and reads, “There being met part of the body of the Lodge they taking in their serious consideration that no member of the said Lodge Shall be made a Mark Mason without paying the fee of one Scots Mark……’.
Nevertheless in England, the Mark Degree is a separate entity with its own Grand Lodge, which was founded on 23rd June 1856. The first Grand Master was The Rt. Hon. The Lord Leigh, who was at that time the Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire Craft Lodges.
In other Constitutions throughout the World, the Mark is part of either Craft or Royal Arch Masonry, and a candidate may be given the Mark Degree as soon as he has become a Master Mason, either in the Craft or in the Royal Arch Chapter as a preliminary degree.
The Mark Degree is one of hope and encouragement and the ritual is built on a single verse from Psalm 118 “The stone which the builders rejected has become the head stone of the corner”.
It deals with the building of King Solomon’s Temple and the various Craftsmen employed, but its real message is one of contemplation of human strength and weakness. The Degree contains many messages for the discerning man and illustrates that the wishes of men can be mistaken, that the experts are often wrong, that the weakest often display perseverance far better than the strongest, that the insignificant has a potential for distinction and that we all have a part to play in the Building of Life.
It is for each to put his own interpretation on the message which the degree proclaims, but there is a clear encouragement that no man is beyond redemption, and the possibility of distinction is always within our power. Whatever one’s religion there is a clear message of hope and for the Christian, Peter, in the Book of Acts, states of Jesus, “This is the stone which was set at naught by you builders, which is become the Head of the Corner”.
Finally the Degree reminds us that when all the wisest and cleverest of men were gathered together Only One looked towards the West and saw a sunbeam strike the roof of the Temple. The Degree represents the everyday life of each one of us, for the stone hewn from virgin rock depicts us all on our journey through life. Its final recognition as perfection should be the guide to our conduct through life that “we may be found worthy”.
The above was reproduced by kind permission of RW.Bro. Cannon A. Webb, GMRAC (Honoris Causa) Past Provincial Grand Master for Worcestershire.
The purpose of this leaflet is to draw your attention to the existence of the Mark Degree and to invite you to consider seriously “Taking the Fourth Regular Step”.
There are 24 Mark Lodges in the Province of Somerset and 12 Royal Ark Mariner Lodges, all of which would welcome you into membership.
If you have found the above article interesting and worthy of further consideration, please turn over and read on. Also, if you think other members of the Craft known to you might be interested, don’t hesitate to show this document to them.
Although a separate order, this degree comes under the jurisdiction of the Mark Degree and you must be a Mark Mason before you can be considered for membership. It is a beautiful degree in its own right and worthy of consideration after you have taken the Forth Regular Step. Download Royal Ark Mariner Information sheet