1. The act of congregating, or bringing together, or of collecting into one aggregate or mass.
The means of reduction in the fire is but by the congregation of homogeneal parts. --Bacon.
2. A collection or mass of separate things.
A foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. --Shak.
3. An assembly of persons; a gathering; esp. an assembly of persons met for the worship of God, and for religious instruction; a body of people who habitually so meet.
He [Bunyan] rode every year to London, and preached there to large and attentive congregations. --Macaulay.
4. Anc. Jewish Hist. The whole body of the Jewish people; -- called also Congregation of the Lord.
It is a sin offering for the congregation. --Lev. iv. 21.
5. R. C. Ch. (a) A body of cardinals or other ecclesiastics to whom as intrusted some department of the church business; as, the Congregation of the Propaganda, which has charge of the missions of the Roman Catholic Church. (b) A company of religious persons forming a subdivision of a monastic order.
6. The assemblage of Masters and Doctors at Oxford or Cambrige University, mainly for the granting of degrees. [Eng.]
7. Scotch Church Hist. the name assumed by the Protestant party under John Knox. The leaders called themselves (1557) Lords of the Congregation.
n 1: a group of people who adhere to a common faith and
habitually attend a given church [syn: fold, faithful]
2: an assemblage of people or animals or things collected
together; "a congregation of children pleaded for his
autograph"; "a great congregation of birds flew over"
3: the act of congregating [syn: congregating]
(Heb. kahal), the Hebrew people collectively as a holy community
(Num. 15:15). Every circumcised Hebrew from twenty years old and
upward was a member of the congregation. Strangers resident in
the land, if circumcised, were, with certain exceptions (Ex.
12:19; Num. 9:14; Deut. 23:1-3), admitted to the privileges of
citizenship, and spoken of as members of the congregation (Ex.
12:19; Num. 9:14; 15:15). The congregation were summonded
together by the sound of two silver trumpets, and they met at
the door of the tabernacle (Num. 10:3). These assemblies were
convened for the purpose of engaging in solemn religious
services (Ex. 12:27; Num. 25:6; Joel 2:15), or of receiving new
commandments (Ex. 19:7, 8). The elders, who were summonded by
the sound of one trumpet (Num. 10:4), represented on various
occasions the whole congregation (Ex. 3:16; 12:21; 17:5; 24:1).
After the conquest of Canaan, the people were assembled only
on occasions of the highest national importance (Judg. 20; 2
Chr. 30:5; 34:29; 1 Sam. 10:17; 2 Sam. 5:1-5; 1 Kings 12:20; 2
Kings 11:19; 21:24; 23:30). In subsequent times the congregation
was represented by the Sanhedrim; and the name synagogue,
applied in the Septuagint version exclusively to the
congregation, came to be used to denote the places of worship
established by the Jews. (See CHURCH.)
In Acts 13:43, where alone it occurs in the New Testament, it
is the same word as that rendered "synagogue" (q.v.) in ver. 42,
and is so rendered in ver. 43 in R.V.