Private ceremony for Prince held at his church

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prince.jpgLate pop icon Prince was remembered Sunday in a private ceremony at his church, with his family looking to hold a public event in August.

Television footage showed mourners dressed in black entering a Jehovah's Witness temple in the leafy suburb of Minnetonka outside Minneapolis.The Star Tribune newspaper of Minneapolis said that Prince's protegee Sheila E was among hundreds who attended the 45-minute service, which was closed to the media.

Prince, one of the most influential pop artists of his generation and whose songs were often sexually explicit, was baptized as a Jehovah's Witness in 2003. Prince embraced the faith's practice of proselytization, with the internationally famous pop legend reported to have knocked on doors in the Minneapolis suburbs to distribute religious literature.

Local television station KARE quoted the printed program at Prince's memorial as saying that the star "found great joy and satisfaction in sharing the things he learned from the Bible with others." His sister, Tyka Nelson, said Friday that she did not consider that "intimate gathering" to have been his funeral and that the family was still planning a public event.

"The proposed plan is to have our Memorial/Funeral/Tribute in August," she wrote on Facebook, adding that she and Prince's remains would only be present at that forthcoming event.