The ambry is an area near the altar of a church where sacred items such as Holy Oils and the Oil of Chrism is kept. The term ambry may sometimes be used to describe a cabinet attached to the wall rather than a recessed space. The ambry may be square or arched and is often fitted with a carved or decorated door depicting a cross or other religious symbol. Often, ambries are made of metals such as bronze and are decorative enough to add to the style and design of the church.
The oils stored within the ambry are often kept in ambry sets. Ambries and oil sets may vary in design, with styles ranging to suit unique Churches' tastes. Ambry sets and ambries may be mixed and matched as desired. Most ambries are large enough to accommodate any set.
Through the years, the regulations on the use of ambries have become more relaxed. Historically, the niches had to be secured and locked. They were also required to be lined and veiled with purple or white cloth depending on the contents. Now, regulations have relaxed and beautiful decorative ambries are being found in churches throughout the world.