A vessel or container for consecrated oils. Ampullae of clay or glass were found in the tomb walls of ancient Christian catacombs. They held oil or perfume for anointing the dead. Ampullae have also been used to hold oil for lamps at shrines of martyrs.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.