The funeral service for Father Paul Bennett, found stabbed to death outside his vicarage, has taken place.
Father Paul Bennett was described as 'a man of the people'
The Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, presided over the Requiem Mass at St Fagan's Church in Trecynon, Aberdare - Father Bennett's former ministry.
Many of the 500 mourners began arriving at 1000 BST ahead of the hour-long funeral, which began at 1200 BST and was followed by a cremation service.
A local man, aged 23, has been charged with murder and remanded in custody.
The funeral cortège made its way the short distance from the vicarage, where the 59-year-old lived with his wife Georgina, children Emma and Nigel, and 11-year-old grandson John, to St Fagan's church next door.
Loudspeakers relayed the service to those standing outside
There were tears as John walked into the church carrying a posy of purple freesias, which were placed onto his grandfather's coffin.
Loudspeakers were set up outside the 18th Century building so those unable to get inside the packed church could hear the service.
So many wanted to take communion during the Requiem mass that the priests had to come outside to serve them.
Others stood further back, and some came out of their homes opposite the church to observe the service which was led by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan.
The assistant bishop of Llandaff, the Right Reverend David Yeoman, paid tribute to his friend and colleague, who he revealed was profoundly deaf, saying: "It was a challenge he faced and met with determination, and managed it well."
He told the congregation: "I first met Paul 30 years ago when I was the vicar Ystrad Rhondda.
"It did not take me long to realise how much that little church depended on Paul because he took services and played the organ, often at the same service.
"He led the Sunday school, served at the altar, took confirmation classes and even led the odd discussion group and that was 1o years before he was ordained.
"And so I was not surprised when he eventually came to see me to say that he thought he had a vocation to the ordained ministry. The only thing that surprised me was that he had not come before."
He went on to describe his friend as "humble" and "meticulous about everything".
"As somebody said to me when I visited the parish a few days after his death, he was a man of God and a man of the people," he added.
"And I always felt that his great love and care for people helped them to see something of God's love in their lives and, as we know, he was as much at home in the community as he was in his three churches."
Rev Yeoman said services taken by Father Bennett were relaxed and often humorous, but he was a "committed and dedicated priest".
He said: "We are all struggling to come to terms with the unbelievably tragic nature of Paul's death.
"We share the grief of his family, the parish community and the people of Trecynon.
"Hundreds and hundreds of them filed into his church hall to light candles and pray for him."
Hymns sung at the service included Lord Enthroned In Heavenly Splendour, Tell Out My Soul, One More Step Along The Way and Take My Life and Let It Be - said to be Father Bennett's favourite hymns.
Father Bennett's family asked mourners to give donations to the charity Operation Christmas Child rather than send flowers.
A memorial fund was set up to help them and parishes across the country have been pledging collections. The money will be given to his widow.
The family have said they no longer wish to remain at St Fagan's vicarage, although no date has been set for them to move out.
Geraint David Evans has been charged with murdering Father Bennett on 14 March and is due to re-appear in court on 1 June.