What's the difference between "flock" and "congregation". The first one seems more descriptive, expressive, and literary while the other is quite neutral. Is it so?
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In the context of a group of folks who belong to a specific church, they are often used synonymously. Flock, however, is more metaphorical -- it comes, iirc, from the beginning of psalm 23:
Psalm 23 King James Version (KJV)
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
So it refers to all those watched over by god/the church/the priest/etc., as in this definition:
1.4 A Christian congregation or body of believers, especially one under the charge of a particular minister.
‘Thomas addressed his flock’
Meanwhile, congregation is more specific:
A group of people assembled for religious worship.
‘the singing of psalms by the whole congregation’
1.1 A group of people regularly attending a particular place of worship.
‘he was a member of the Emmanuel Chapel congregation’
This is related to the verb congregate as in "Gather into a crowd or mass."
So a congregation is the group of people that regularly come together for services or other observations and a flock can refer to all the people a priest/pastor/rabbi/etc or congregation serves (such as the homeless fed by a church congregation.)
But they are often used interchangeably.
(Note: I haven't been religious in any way for a very long time, so my memories/interpretation may be a bit off compared to today.)