The Grand Knight, as the temporal fount of honor within the Holy Orthodox Order of Saint George the Great Martyr, and by virtue of his position as temporal head, has the exclusive right of conferring the Most Meritorious Order of the Holy Spirit. This honor is the Order’s only Decoration of Merit and is reserved to express the Order’s appreciation of a person’s extraordinary service to the Orthodox Church and to the Order of Saint George the Great Martyr.

 

The Grand Knight may bestow the Decoration of Merit upon any individual who has displayed honor, prestige, or special degree of service. This means that an individual has assumed a responsibility or displayed an ability considerably greater than might have been expected of him or her; that an individual had performed activities in an excellent manner which have been of great benefit to the greater Orthodox Christian World.

The Decoration of Merit, as the property of the Order of Saint George the Great Martyr, is awarded in the following four classes regardless of religion:

  • Companion 4th Class (lowest);

  • Companion 3rd Class;

  • Companion 2nd Class; and,

  • Companion 1st Class (highest)

The following is a breakdown of the different medals worn by the individual classes of the Decoration of Merit:

  • Companion 4th Class wears the Chest Medal of the Decoration of Merit;

  • Companion 3rd Class wears the Neck Badge of the Decoration of Merit;

  • Companion 2nd Class wears the Neck Badge and Breast Star of the Decoration of Merit; and,

  • Companion 1st Class wears the Sash/Sash Badge and Breast Star of the Decoration of Merit

The Grand Knight needs to consult with the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia before officially bestowing the Decoration of Merit upon those who are not canonical Orthodox Christians, and who fall outside of the Orthodox Church. The brevet (certificate) of appointment to the Most Meritorious Order of the Holy Spirit, in this case, is signed by both the Grand Knight and by the First Hierarch and/or his Clerical Representative.

 

Those who have received the Decoration of Merit form a distinct class, and become associated, non-voting, companion members of the Order of Saint George the Great Martyr and may partake in the full social life and activities of the Order without restriction. The Grand Knight retains the right to revoke, strip, and rescind the Decoration of Merit from anyone that disparages the dignity or image of the Decoration of Merit, or of the Order of Saint George the Great Martyr to which they are associated. In case of removal, no reimbursement or compensation for any monies, gifts or services rendered to the Order will be given or returned.

 

Any member of the Order may nominate in writing to the Grand Knight a person they feel is deserving to be a recipient of the Decoration of Merit. The bestowing of the Decoration of Merit does not grant voting membership into the Order of Saint George the Great Martyr.

  

The Decoration of Merit, like the medals of the Holy Orthodox Order of Saint George the Great Martyr, are to be worn with great care and with appropriate and suitable dress. The Order’s protocol for wearing medals should always be observed and followed by anyone who has been given the honor and privilege to receive them. Individuals who have been awarded the medals of the Order of Saint George the Great Martyr or of the Decoration of Merit should wear their insignia on the following occasions:

 

  • Official receptions hosted by either His Most Excellency the Grand Knight or by his spouse

  • Official receptions hosted by the Prior of a Grand Priory or by their spouse

  • Investitures of the Order; and

  • Official receptions, dinners and other official functions of the Order as indicated in the invitation

Neck Badge of the Decoration of Merit
Neck Badge of the Decoration of Merit

Breast Star of the Decoration of Merit
Breast Star of the Decoration of Merit

Sash and Sash Badge of the Decoration of Merit
Sash and Sash Badge of the Decoration of Merit

Neck Badge of the Decoration of Merit
Neck Badge of the Decoration of Merit

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The Most Meritorious Order of the Holy Spirit 

(The Decoration of Merit)