Craft Lodges work three degrees – Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. Mark Lodges work two degrees – Mark Master Mason and Royal Ark Mariner. After you have been advanced to the Mark degree, you are then eligible to be elevated to the Royal Ark Mariner degree.
This also is an old degree, and it is based on the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark. You may find this strange, but Noah and his family have been associated with Freemasonry for hundreds of years.
This association starts with the Regius Manuscript, the oldest known Masonic document in the world, believed to have been written in about 1390. Noah’s family is mentioned in this document. This association continues in an unbroken line up to the present day in various documents and in the Royal Ark Mariner degree.
The Royal Ark Mariner degree places emphasis on wisdom, strength and beauty, but there are other aspects of this degree, which are well worthwhile.
The regalia worn by Royal Ark Mariners is worth mentioning for it is decorated with rainbow ribbon. A lodge of Royal Ark Mariners in full regalia is a colourful spectacle.
The head of a Royal Ark Mariner Lodge is called the Worshipful Commander Noah. He is assisted by a Senior and a Junior Warden also referred to as Son Shem and Son Japeth. Other Officers of the Lodge are Chaplain, Scribe, Director of Ceremonies, Senior and Junior Deacons, Organist, Guardian (Inner Guard) and Warder (Tyler).