Almery (or Aumbry)

Almery (Or Aumbry)

the mediaeval hutch; a cupboard occasionally used for keeping broken meat; hence a confusion was made in calling the "almonry" the place of alms-giving, and the "almery" that where the dole of fragments from the conventual tables was daily made. The word is derived from armarium, and usually designates the wall-closet or locker for keeping the church books or altar-plate, the chrism used in baptism and confirmation, and the holy oil for the sick. In many cases the eucharist reserved for the last communion was stored in an aumbry near the altar, as is still the case in Italy. In the cloister the books used in reading-time were kept in an aumbry placed either within the church close to the door, or else in a locker adjoining it at the north-east angle. The Greeks had an aumbry for holding the vestments of the religious — a sort of hanging wardrobe over the altar; from the 5th century presses for the same purpose were erected in the sacristies of the Western Church. The Carthusians had two aumbries, one on the right for the vessels, and another for books. Aumbries to contain processional crosses, the bier, taper-stands, and burial furniture occur in walls near the cloister and cemetery. All the keys were locked up by the sacristan at night in a master-aumbry until early in the morning. Usually the aumbry is provided with a slab. Up to the 13th century the piscina had a small upper shelf for the chalice; and even in later examples a little credence for holding the cruets and vessels is found. Sometimes a small ledge for the calamus appears; and until the 13th century the marks of holes for the hinges of doors are visible: after that date, however, the aumbry became common.

 
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