Glossary / A / Ambry

An ambry is a special, secure cabinet found within many churches, especially in those of the Catholic tradition. This cabinet plays a critical role in the church’s spiritual life, as it is designated for storing sacred oils used in various sacraments and rites.

These oils, blessed by bishops during Holy Week, are used for anointing in ceremonies such as baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, and the anointing of the sick.

The ambry is typically placed in a prominent and respectful location within the church, often near the altar or in a chapel, signifying the importance of the sacraments and the sacredness of the oils it houses.

It serves as a physical reminder of the church’s sacramental ministry and the care taken in preserving elements central to the faith community’s life and worship.