A Masonic calendar is based upon the date of an event or a beginning.
Craft Masons and different
appendant bodies within Freemasonry utilize different Masonic calendars to
celebrate an historical inception date such as the creation of the world or
an historical event specific to that Masonic order or body.
These dates are used upon official Freemason documents.
The historical dates are symbolic of new beginnings, and should not be misconstrued as Freemasons believing that there was a Masonic lodge in the Garden of Eden.
Symbolically, they connect the creation of physical light in the universe with the birth of Masonic spiritual and intellectual light in the candidate.
The only idea intended to be conveyed is that the principles of Freemasonry are as old as the existence of the world.
It is the spirit of the institution of Freemasonry which brings a candidate from intellectual darkness to intellectual light.
Each of the "Mason" calendars, below, begin with the word, Anno.
In the Latin language, Anno means In the Year of. The
English word, annual, is derived from the Latin word, anno.
C.E. means Common Era, (Christians sometimes call
it the Christian Era)
B.C.E. or B.C. means Before Common Era
Masonic Calendar Time Line
|Royal & Select
Ancient Craft Masons:
Anno Lucis - (A.L. or A:.L:.) In The Year of Light
Anno Lucis is Latin for In The Year of Light.
Historical Significance: The Year of Light signifies the
date of the creation of the world (approximately 4000 years before the Common
Era), as we read in the third verse from the Book of
Genesis in the King James version of the Bible as well as in the Torah.
- 1:1 - In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
- 1:2 - And the earth was without form, and void; and
darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the
face of the waters.
- 1:3 - And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
- 1:4 - And God saw the light, that it was good: and God
divided the light from the darkness.
Ancient Craft Freemasons in the York and French Rites, residing in Scotland,
England, Ireland, France, Germany, and in America, use the words, Anno Lucis.
Math: Anno Lucis is found by adding 4000
years (from the creation of the world to the present date) (4000 B.C.E. + 2010
C.E. = 6010 A.L. (Anno Lucis)
Relevance: The Ancient Craft Mason Masonic calendar
celebrates the creation of the world, approximately 4000 years before the Common
Era, or 6010 years ago. The word, "approximately" must be used, here, because, historically,
there were many different calendars in use over the last 6000+ years. This
makes precise dates very difficult to ascertain. (Some historians
believe it to be 4004 years before the Common Era.)
Anno Mundi - (A.M. or A:.M:.) In The Year of the World
Anno Mundi is Latin for In the Year of the World.
Historical Significance: Anno Mundi also begins with the
date of the creation of the world, but is based upon the older, Hebraic (Hebrew) calendar,
which begins the civil year in September rather than the Gregorian calendar in
use by us, today which begins the new year in January.
The Hebrew calendar has several differences from the
Gregorian calendar, one of which is that some months in the Hebrew calendar have 29 days and some have 30 days.
(See Anno Hebraico, below.)
Math: Anno Mundi is found by adding 3760
years to the current year.
(3760 B.C.E. + 2010 C.E.) After September of the current year, add 1 year more.
Therefore, if the current date is July, 2010, add 3760
years = 5770 A.M.
If the current date is October, 2010, add 3761 = 5771 A.M.
Relevance: The Scottish Rite Masonic calendar celebrates the creation of
the world, 3760/3761 years before the beginning of the Common Era (C.E.) or 5770
years ago. It is
counted using the Hebrew
Anno Hebraico: In the Hebrew Year
Anno Hebraico is Latin for In the Hebrew Year. It is sometimes
abbreviated as A.H or A:.H:.
Historical Significance: Tishri; Tisri - tish'-re, tiz'-re:
Tisri, or Tishri, is the 7th month of the Jewish ecclesiastical, and the first
month of the Hebrew/Jewish civil year. (September-October). Tisri begins
with the new moon in September. Tisri, or Tishri is called Ethanim
in 1 Kings 8:2.
York Rite - Knights Templar Chivalric
Anno Ordinis: In The Year of The Order (A.O. or
Anno Ordinis is Latin for In The Year of the Order.
Historical Significance: In the year, 1118 C.E. (Common Era), 9
French knights, followers of King Baldwyn, the King of Jerusalem, and at his
behest and in his presence, took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
With great humility, they assumed the title of the Poor Fellow Soldiers of
Christ. The job of this brotherhood-in-arms was to protect the pious
pilgrims in their passage to the holy city of Jerusalem.
King Baldwyn assigned them residence in a part of his palace which stood near
the former site of the Temple of Solomon. The Abbot and Canons of the
Temple gave them a street between the palace and the Temple in which to store
their arms and magazines. Thus, they derived the name of Templars.
Math: Anno Ordinis is found by subtracting 1118 from the current
date, thus the year, 2010 minus 1118 = 892 A.O. (Anno Ordinis)
Relevance: The date 892 A.O. celebrates the
operative and speculative existence of the
Knights Templar from its origin in the year, 1118 C.E. over the last 892 years.
Royal Arch Masons: In The Year of the Discovery
Anno Inventionis (A.I. or A:.I:.)(530 B.C.E.)
Anno Inventionis is Latin for In The Year of the Discovery.
Historical Significance: King Solomon built the first temple. Zerubbabel
built or caused to be built, the Second Temple.
Little is known or written about Zerubbabel except that
he was a famous man and that at all events, Zerubbabel
was governor of Judah in the second year of Darius Hystaspis' reign in 520 B.C.E..
The Masonic calendar used by Royal Arch
Masons dates from the year of the second temple having been caused to be built
by Zerubbabel in 530 B.C.E..
Math: Anno Inventionis is found by adding 530 years to the
current date, thus 2010 C.E. + 530 B.C.E. = 2540 A.I. (Anno Inventionis)
The date 2540 A.I. celebrates the building of the Second Temple, 2540 years
ago, believed to be on or very near the site of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.
Royal and Select Masters & Cryptic Masons: In The Year of the Deposit
Anno Depositionis (A:.Dep:)(approx. 1000 B.C.)
Anno Depositionis is Latin for In the Year of the Deposit.
Anno Depositionis dates from the year in which the Temple of Solomon was
completed in 1000 B.C.E..
Math: The Masonic calendar used by Royal and Select Masters is
found by adding 1000 to the current year; thus, the current year (as of this
writing), 2010 C.E. + 1000 B.C.E. = 3010 A:.Dep: (Anno Depositionis).
Relevance: The Masonic calendar which Royal and Select Masters and
Cryptic Masons celebrate is the year in which Solomon's Temple was completed, 3010
Anno Bonefacio (A:.B:.) In The Year of the
Anno Bonefacio is Latin for In The Year of the
Historical Significance: This date is used
by the brethren of the Order of High Priesthood to signify the elapsed period of
time calculated from the year of the blessing of Abraham by the High Priest,
Melchizedek as referenced in Genesis 14:18-20.
Math: Add the year of the blessing, 1913
B.C.E. + the current year, 2010 C.E. = 3923 A:.B: (Anno Bonefacio).
Relevance: The Order of High Priesthood
celebrates the blessing of Abraham by Melchizedek, 3923 years ago as the beginning of their Masonic calendar.
Other Freemason Rites (degrees) have their own Masonic calendar, but these are the most well
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