Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Order of the Secret Vault

There are a number of awards and honors found within the York Rite. The General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International has the following awards: Medal of Honor, Columbian Medal, Mordhurst Medal, Cryptic Mason of the Year, Adult Youth Leadership Award, Grand Master's Lapel Pin, Ritualist Award, Lady of the Council, 10% Gain Certificate, and the Order of the Secret Vault. The last one, the Order of the Secret Vault, is one of the newest awards to come from the General Grand Council, and many Masons, even York Rite Mason, have never heard of it.

In 2012, the General Grand Council established the College of Preservation in order to honor those who have provided exemplary service to their Grand Councils and/or to the General Grand Council. This purpose of the College of Preservation is to establish the Order of the Secret Vault and confer the honor of the Companion of the Secret Vault on worthy Companions in order to support the Corporate Foundation and through that Foundation build a financial base ensuring the future stability of the General Grand Council, Cryptic Masons International, and its Honors Programs.

The General Grand Master of Cryptic Masons International is0 the Grand Master of the College of Preservation and is the head of the Order of the Secret Vault. The Deputy General Grand Master, General Grand Principal Conductor of the Work, General Grand Treasurer, and General Grand Recorder are the governing body of the College of Preservation. Each Grand Council has one to two College Deans that are appointed by the General Grand Master and who have the authority to select those worthy Companions to receive the Order of the Secret Vault in their respective jurisdiction.

Jewel of the Order
of the Secret Vault
The Order of the Secret Vault is by invitation-only and only those who have received this honor may nominate someone to receive it. All nominations go to their College Dean who makes the final selection and sends it on to the College of Preservation who has the final say as to who receives the order. Recipients of this order are known as Companion of the Secret Vault. They receive a certificate as well as a jewel. The jewel (see the pic on the right) is suspended from a purple ribbon. It may be worn with a sports jacket, suit, or tux at any York Rite function, public or private.

The ceremony is short and simple, but memorable in that it charges the Companions of the Secret Vault to preserve the degrees of the Council and preserve the General Grand Council. This ceremony can be done in private or in public. For Idaho, it usually occurs just after the Public Opening and Introductions so that a larger crowd may take witness to this investiture. As of January 1, 2018, there are 414 members worldwide.

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