This is a question we used in the Grand Lodge of Minnesota Masonic Monday questions.
I really enjoy making contributions to that weekly Column. Of course the Grand Lodge Education Officer Ed Halpus is the guiding light for us.
Anyway I hope you enjoy the question:
Answer comes from Mackey’s revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. I think you will find the answer [s] interesting to read.
Freemasons, in affixing dates to their official documents, never make use of the
Common Epoch or Vulgar Era, but have one peculiar to themselves, which however,
varies in the different rites. The Terms Era and epoch are in this sense synonymous.
Masons of The York, American, and French Rites, that is to say Scotland, Ireland,
France, Germany and American, date from the creation of the world calling it “Anno
Lucis” which the abbreviated A.L. signifying in the Year of Light. To obtain this date add
4000 to the common year: Anno Domini 2007 becomes Anno Lucis 6007. This they do,
not because they believe in Freemasonry and the creation of The Earth is on this date, but
with a reference to the light in masonry.
In the Scottish Rite, the epoch also begins from the date of the creation, here the Masons
of the Rite, using the Jewish Chronology would call the year 2007 or in A.M. or Anno
Mundi (in year of the World) 5767. They sometimes use the initials A.H. signifying
Anno Hebraico or in the Hebrew year. They have also adopted the Hebrew months and
the year therefore begins with in the middle of September (Roshashana).
Masons of The York and American Rites begin the year of the 1st of January, but
in the French Rite it commences on the first of March, and instead of the months
receiving their usual names, they are designated numerically, as first, second, thirds etc.
Thus the 1st of January 2007 would be styled in a French document, the 1st day of the
11th Masonic Month, Anno Lucis 6007. The French sometimes instead of initials A.L.
use L’ an de la VL or Vraie Lumiere that “ Year of True Light” For your convenience we
complete this article on Masonic Calendars with the rules for discovering the various
To find the ancient craft date; add 4,000 to the Vulgar Era. Thus 2007 and 4,000 are
To find the date of the Scottish Rite add 3,760 to the Vulgar Era. Thus 2007 and 3,760
To find the date of Royal Arch Masonry add 530 to the Vulgar Era. Thus 530 and 2007
To find the Royal and select Masters date add 1,000 to the Vulgar Era. Thus 1,000 and
2007 are 3007.
To find the Knights Temple date subtract 1,118 from the Vulgar Era, Thus 1,118 from
2007 is 889.
The following will show, in one view, the date of the year 2006 for all branches of the
Year of the Lord, A.D. 2007
Year of the Light, A.L. 6007 Ancient Craft Masonry
Year of the World, A.M. 5767 Scottish Rite
Year of the Discovery, A.I. 2537 Royal Arch Masonry
Year of the Deposite A. Dep 3007 Royal and Select Master
Year of the Order A.O. Knights Templar 889
See, it is interesting.
Good luck with the question for next week.