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Mourners attend Prince memorial service at his Jehovah's Witnesses church

Published 16/05/2016

Mourners leave the Kingdom Hall following the memorial service for Prince in Minnetonka, Minnesota (Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP)
Mourners leave the Kingdom Hall following the memorial service for Prince in Minnetonka, Minnesota (Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP)

Security was tight as mourners packed a Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall for a memorial service for musician Prince, who worshipped there before he died last month.

Media and fans were kept well back from the invitation-only event in the Minneapolis suburb of Minnetonka.

City spokeswoman Kari Spreeman said last week that police were preparing for up to 500 people, including up to 50 high-profile guests.

Some people who were not able to get inside before the church filled up were able to obtain programmes, which they shared with reporters outside.

The programme said the service was to begin with the song He Will Call, followed by an opening prayer.

It also included an "interview" with Larry Graham, the former Sly and the Family Stone bassist who was Prince's spiritual mentor and introduced him to the Jehovah's Witnesses faith.

The service was to conclude with the song See Yourself When All Is New and a closing prayer.

On the back was a quote from the Prince song Beautiful, Loved and Blessed, from his 2006 album 3121. It read: "If I were to ever write down my life story, I could truly say with all the fame and glory, I was just a piece of clay in need of the potter's hand."

In an interview two weeks ago, Graham said it was important to Prince to give his fans joy with his music. But the most important thing to Prince was being able to share scripture, he said.

"His joy - his biggest joy - was sharing the hope of everlasting life," Graham said.

Prince was known at the Kingdom Hall as Brother Nelson.

He was found dead aged 57 in his Paisley Park recording complex in Chanhassen on April 21. Authorities are still investigating.

The artist's two ex-wives held a star-studded memorial event in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

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From Belfast Telegraph