Masonic Calendars
Graig Huber

As the New Year approaches, one might wonder if Freemasonry uses the common calendaring system we use today regarding what year it is. Of course, you know the answer is no. Masonic bodies use significant events in their respective histories to represent the start of their calendars. The best way to review this is to look at different Masonic bodies and see how they calculate the current year and, also, what significant event is the “start” of their calendaring. First, a quick review. Current calendaring is based upon the birth of Christ - thus we have “Before Christ” (B.C.) and “In the Year of the Lord” (A.D.). So when the ball drops in Times Square we will start 2019 A.D.

Craft Masonry
Anno Lucis (A.L.) is Latin for “In the Year of Light” which signifies the biblical creation of the world according to the Book of Genesis which is estimated to be 4000 B.C. Anno Lucis is found by adding 4000 years to the current year. So next year will be 4000 + 2019 = 6019 A.L.

Scottish Rite
Anno Mundi (A.M.) is Latin for “In the Year of the World” based on the Hebraic (Hebrew) calendar. Anno Mundo is found by adding 3760 year to the current year, however, the year change occurs on October 1st. So since we are already passed October 1, 2018 the current year is 3760 + 2019 = 5779 A.M. So Happy Belated New Year to all of our Scottish Rite brothers!

Royal Arch Masons
Anno Inventionis (A.I.) is Latin for “In the Year of the Discovery”. The calendar used by Royal Arch Masons dates from the building of the second Temple by Zerubbabel in 530 B.C. Anno Inventionis is determined by adding 530 to the current year. So 2019 will be 530 + 2019 = 2549 A.I.

Royal and Select Masters
Anno Depositionis (A:.Dep.) is Latin for “In the Year of the Deposit”. The calendar used by Royal and Select Masters dates from the year in which the Temple of Solomon was completed in 1000 B.C. Anno Depositionis is determined by adding 1000 to the current year. So 2019 will be 1000 + 2019 = 3019 A:.Dep.

Knights Templar
Anno Ordini (A.O.) is Latin for “In the Year of the Order”. In 1118 A.D., nine french knights, who were followers of the King of Jerusalem, King Baldwyn, took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. These kings became the first knights enrolled in the Templar order. Anno Ordinis is determined by subtracting 1118 from the current year. So 2019 will be 2019 - 1118 = 901 A.O.

No matter the calendar: Best Wishes on A Safe and Prosperous New Year!!

P.S. Please email with any ideas on topics for Masonic articles in 2019