General Ahiman Rezon, by Daniel Sickels, , at sacred-texts.com
THE ordinary calendar, or vulgar era, is not generally used by Freemasons in dating their official documents. They have one peculiar to themselves, differing according to their various rites. The Masons in all parts of the world working in the York and French rites add 4000 years to the Christian era, calling it ANNO LUCIS—Year of Light; abbreviated A∴ L∴; thus the year 1865 would be A∴ L∴ 5865. *
Masons practicing in the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE use the Jewish Calendar, which adds 3760 to the vulgar era, styled ANNO MUNDI—A∴ M∴—year of the world. Or they sometimes use the Hebrew year, which begins on the 17th of September, or 1st of Tisri, using the initials A∴ H∴—ANNO HEBRAICO—Hebrew year.
ROYAL ARCH MASONS date from the building of the second temple—530 B.C. Their style is therefore ANNO INVENTIONIS—A∴ Inv∴—in the year of the Discovery.
ROYAL AND SELECT MASTERS should date from the Completion of Solomon's Temple, which would add 1000 to the Christian era. Their style is ANNO DEPOSITIONIS—A∴ Dep∴—in the year of the Deposit.
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR date from the organization of the Order-1118. Their style is therefore ANNO ORDINIS—A∴ O∴—in the year of the Order.
Those of the rite of MIZRAIM add four years to the usual computation of the age of the world: thus the year 1865 would stand A∴ L∴ 5869.
MASONS OF THE YORK RITE begin the year on the first of January; but in the FRENCH RITE it commences on the first of March.
388:* This fact has a symbolic reference, not because they believe Freemasonry is, but that the principles and light of the institution are, coeval with the creation.