HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE ALMANACK
DOMINICAL LETTER. One of the first seven letters of the alphabet,
used to mark the relation of Sunday to the year and to aid in determining the
date of Easter. These letters being used to mark the day of the week, beginning
with A at January 1, the same one that falls on the first Sunday will mark all
the Sundays for the year, and is the dominical letter for that year, except in
leap year, when at the end of February the letter is exchanged for the one
preceding. After 28 years any given order of letters is repeated.
EPACT. The number of days in the age of the moon on the first day
of any particular year, the age being the number of days since new moon.
LUNAR CYCLE OR GOLDEN NUMBER. A period of 19 Julian years
amounting to very nearly 235 lunar revolutions, at the conclusion of which the
phases of the moon recur at the same time of the year.
The Golden Number is the number indicating the place of a year in
a metonic cycle of 19 years used in calculating the movable feasts as Easter.
If 1 be added to the number of the calendar year (A.D.) and the result divided
by 19, the remainder will be the golden number. Where there is no remainder the
number is 19. It was usually printed in gold in old calendars, hence the name.
SOLAR CYCLE. A period of 28 years at the end of which the dates of
each month fall again on the same days of the week.
ROMAN INDICTION. A period of 15 years. To find the indiction, 3 is
added to the number of the year in the Christian era and the result is divided
by 15, the quotient will give the number of indiction or cycle, and the
remainder the position of the year in that indiction.
JULIAN PERIOD. The year of the Julian period is found by adding
4713 to the year of the Christian Era.
EMBER DAYS. 12 days in each year, 3 in each season, for fasting
and prayer. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the first Sunday in Lent,
after Whitsunday, after September 14, and after December 13.
COLUMNS OF THE
MOON SOUTH. Time the moon crosses the meridian. Moon R.&S.—Time
given shows either moon rise or moon set as indicated.
MOON’S PLACE AND AGE. Moon’s passage through the zodiac. The age
is the number of days elapsed since the previous new moon.
MORNING AND EVENING STARS. The bright
planets are morning or evening stars according as they are on one side or the
other of the sun. Thus, the inferior planets, Mercury and Venus, are morning
stars from inferior to superior conjunctions, and evening stars during the remainder
of their synodic periods; and the outer planets, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, are
morning stars from conjunction to opposition, and evening stars from opposition
Inferior planets are those whose orbits lie inside that of the
earth, as Mercury and Venus. The superior planets are those whose orbits lie outside that of the earth as Mars,
Jupiter, Saturn, etc.