There are different Masonic calendars that are used by the Freemason appendant bodies and Craft Masons to celebrate various historical and significant events. The dates on these Masonic calendars are found and used on several official Masonic documents.
These calendars do not start counting from the beginning of time. Instead, they begin with historical dates that signify new beginnings.
A lot of Masonic calendars take great interest in the creation of light in the Universe, and they relate this with the creation of intellectual light and spiritual light in a Freemason. Freemasonry is an institution that makes an unenlightened person to become an intellectual one.
Masonic calendars typically begin with ‘Anno’ which is a Latin word that means ‘In the Year of.’ Anno is also the Latin word from which the English word ‘Annual’ was derived.
C.E. in Masonic calendars mean ‘Common Era’ or ‘Christian Era’ as the Christians call it. B.C.E or B.C. means ‘Before Common Era’ or ‘Before Christian Era.’
Timeline of Masonic Calendars in Chronological Order
Craft Masons- B.C.E. 4000
Scottish Rite- B.C.E. 3760
Royal & Select Masters- B.C.E. 1000
Royal Arch- B.C.E. 530
Knights Templar- C.E 1118
Present Day- C.E. 2010
Ancient Craft Masons
Anno Lucis (Abbreviated as A.L) which means In The Year of Light. The Year of Light refers to the date that the world was created. This can be read from the Torah and Genesis in the KJV version of the Bible from verses 1 to 4.
Genesis 1: 1-4
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Gen 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.
Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
The words ‘Anno Lucis’ were used by Ancient Craft Freemasons in the French Rites and York Rites who resided in Scotland, France, England, America and Ireland.
Anno Lucis is calculated by adding 4000 years which is from the creation of the world(4000 B.C.E) to the current year (2019 C.E) which will give us 6019 A.L (Anno Lucis)
The Masonic calendar used by the Ancient Craft Masons has the creation of the world fixed at 6019 years ago which is about 4000 years before 2019 or Common Era.
Anno Mundi or A.M.
Anno Mundi is a Latin word which means ‘In the Year of the World.’ Anno Mundi is based on the old Hebrew calendar, and it also starts from the beginning of the world. The old Hebrew calendar starts the civil year in September rather than January like our regular calendar. Also, some months in the Hebrew calendar have varying length of days from our regular Gregorian calendar.
Anno Mundi is calculated by adding 3760 to the current year. So, 3760 plus 2019 gives 5779 AM. If it is already October, another year is added.
Anno Ordinis stands for ‘In the Year of The Order’
Anno Ordinis is calculated by subtracting 1118 from the present date. So, 2019-1118 gives us 901 A.0
This means that the Knights Templar has been in existence for the last 901 years. This can be traced back to 1118 C.E when 9 French knights who were followers of King Baldwyn, the King of Jerusalem took vows of obedience, chastity and poverty in his presence. They became Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ. They were tasked with protecting pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem.
These Knights were assigned a residence in the Palace close to where the former Temple of Solomon was located. They were called Templars then, and the name stuck.
Anno Hebraico stands for ‘In the Hebrew Year’ It is abbreviated as A.H
Tishri or Tisri is the 7th month of our calendar and the first month of the Hebrew calendar. This is September/October. Tisri starts with the new moon of September.
Anno Bonefacio A:.B:.
Anno Bonefacio is the Latin word for ‘In the Year of the Blessing’
Anno Bonefacio is obtained by adding 1913 years to the current year. So, 1913 B.C.E plus 2019 gives us 3932 A:.B:.
Anno Bonefacio celebrates the time when Abraham was blessed by Melchizedek, King of Salem 3932 years ago.
Anno Inventionis is the Latin word for ‘In the Year of Discovery.’ It is calculated by adding 530 years to the current date. So, 2019 C.E plus 530 B.C.E gives 2549 A.I
The year 2549 represents the building of the Second Temple by Zerubbabel 2549 years ago near the site of King’s Solomon Temple. Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah in the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspis in 520 B.C.E
Royal and Select Masters & Cryptic Masons
Anno Depositionis is the Latin word for ‘In the Year of the Deposit.’ Anno Depositionis is calculated by adding 1000 years to the current calendar. So, 2019 plus 1000 gives 3019 A:.
Anno Depositionis is used to celebrate the year when King Solomon’s Temple was completed 3019 years ago.
There are other Freemason Rites and Degrees with their Masonic calendars. This is just a selection of a few.