Anno Lucis Year of Light refers to the biblical account of the creation of the universe wherein God spoke and said: "Let there be light,...and there was light." (Genesis 1:3) Anno Depositionis Year of the Deposit. The date is used by Royal and Select Masters. The Cryptic Masonic date designation. (Add 1000 to the current date) Anno Inventionis Year of Discovery. The Royal Arch date designation. (Add 530 to the current date). The date used by Royal Arch Masons. Anno Ordinis Year of the 0rder. The date used by Knights Templar. (Subtract 1118 from the current date). Anno Mundi Year of the World. The date used in the Ancient and Accepted Rite. (Add 3760 to the current year until September; if after September, add 3761). Today's Date



Many brethren would have noticed that in their Masonic Diploma, the date, for example 2002, is shown as 6002. Why is that?

James Ussher, an Anglican priest born in Dublin in 1580, interpreted the time of the Creation in the Bible as being 4,004 BC. This was generally accepted by the Church as well, and was adopted in Anderson’s “Constitutions”, the basic text of modern Freemasonry. Hence, a Masonic date adds 4000 years to the currently accepted origins of the Christian era, and is called “Anno Lucis,” or the year of light.

However, other Masonic bodies have different interpretations. For example, the Knight Kadosh of the Scottish Rite use “Anno hebraico (a.k.a. Anno mundi)”, taken from Hebrew months and a calendar based on Jewish chronology. This thinking begins in September and adds 3,760 years on the Gregorian calendar. In the Royal Arch, the date of Creation is “Anno inventionis”, or 530 BC, the date when work commences on the second temple by Zerubbabel. The Royal and Select Masters degree uses the time of the dedication of K.S. Temple, or 1,000 BC and is called “Anno depositionis.” The Templars (especially in Europe) count the beginning as 1118 AD, the founding of the Order and is called “Anno ordinis.


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