Reverend Kathleen Rogers told the congregation: "We have come together to remember April in the presence of God. We have come to celebrate her short life and grieve together, to say goodbye.
"It's a bittersweet moment. Our hopes and dreams have changed because April has been taken from us.
"But you know, we come also with a sense of thanksgiving for the many ways that April touched our lives and those with whom she came into contact.
"For a five-year-old she touched a great many lives ... for Paul, Coral, Jazmin and Harley, April was and is extra special.
"But she touched us all and we think and feel differently because of the difference she made to us.
"Today, here in this place, she is linking us all together in grief. Yet, grief goes hand in hand with love.
"In whatever way we express our grief, it shows our love for April.
"And surely that is the most important thing for any human being of whatever age, simply to be loved."
Beginning the funeral service, the Reverend Kathleen Rogers said: "We know that there are no words we can say at this moment to express what we are feeling. No words can alleviate our sorrow or take away our pain."
A message from April's family, written on the order of service, said: "Paul, Coral, Jazmin and Harley would like to say a big thank you to everyone for their overwhelming kindness, sympathy and support during this sad, sad time."
The emotional parents of April Jones accompanied her tiny coffin into St Peter's Church where they will bid a final farewell to their daughter a year after she was killed.
Hundreds of mourners in the mid-Wales market town of Machynlleth also gathered to pay their respects to the five-year-old.
April Jones' parents, brother and sister followed the horse-drawn hearse on the one mile journey from the Bryn-y-Gog estate to St Peter's Church in a car.
They were joined by hundreds of mourners on foot, with many wearing the schoolgirl's favourite colour pink.
The parents of April Jones wore pink as they prepared to say goodbye to the five-year-old at a funeral service, a year after she was killed.
It comes five days before the first anniversary of April's murder and just 10 days after an inquest released her remains to her family.
A horse-drawn hearse prepares to carry April Jones' coffin on the one mile journey from the Bryn-y-Gog estate, where the youngster lived, to St Peter's Church.
A memorial garden for April Jones, set up just yards from where the little girl was last seen alive, has become a focal point for locals in the weeks leading up to her funeral.
A moving montage of photographs showing April at play will be shown to mourners as they file into the church.
The images will play out on a 50-inch flat screen TV placed at one side to the rear of the church for best visibility.
Put together by April's sister Jazmin, 17, the montage formed part of her recent GCSE school project.
The brief video footage will be played to music chosen by the teenager for the occasion.
The photographs have all been taken from the family's personal album and include the image of a single pink bow used as a beacon of hope by many after April went missing.
Ahead of April Jones' funeral, the Welsh Secretary David Jones has tweeted:
Wales remembers April Jones today