The Secret Vault Tradition

As a bit of background recall that, in 2018, the Committee on Education of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Oklahoma developed twenty-four Lessons on Cryptic Masonry, in an effort to foster more opportunities for educational presentations during Council meetings. Each of these twenty-four lessons outlines a self-contained educational presentation. The material for these lessons is drawn from two readily available sources:

THE COURSE — The Cryptic Masonry Education Course, which was published in 2017 by the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons, International.

THE RITUAL — The Ritual of the Grand Council C.M. of Oklahoma, as adopted in 1954, with subsequent amendments.

Every other month we will suggest one of these lessons that an Illustrious Master may use, if he so desires, as an educational presentation in his Council meeting.

This month’s suggested lesson for Council meetings is “Select Master Lesson #5,” which is found on p. 18 of the Lessons on Cryptic Masonry.

Outline of the Lesson:

(i) Exemplify the excerpt of the Select Master degree regarding the “Deposits” found on pp. 30-32 of THE RITUAL.

(ii) Read the sections on the “The Nine Arches, the Symbolism of Numbers, and the Secret Vault Tradition” and the “The Ninth Arch” on pp. 57-63 of THE COURSE.

Discussion Questions:

(i) Answer questions 4, 5, 11, and 15 on pp. 72-74 of THE COURSE.

(ii) Discuss question 1 on p. 75 of THE COURSE.

(iii) Discuss the meaning of the descents we so often make in the degrees of Masonry. Name the descents that have already been alluded to in the degrees of Craft Masonry.

(iv) The symbolism associated with the arches, the secret vault, and the numbers peculiar to this degree teaches us that it is easy for a man, a nation, or a culture to “lose the Name of God.” What is the allegorical meaning of the Lost Word?

(v) Discuss as many examples that you can think of regarding what losing the name of God may mean to a culture, a religion, a society, and to each individual.

(vi) Discuss what a vault symbolizes in Masonry. What does it suggest about where a Mason should look for Divine revelation?

These questions are only meant to begin the discussion and to hopefully spark further discussion and interest in the chosen topic.