For a few hours Tuesday, St. Andrew Catholic Church in Newtown became a shrine to the Tini brothers as friends and family gathered to remember and honor their short but vibrant lives.

A slideshow of photos ofJeffrey and Nelson Tini laughing and smiling greeted relatives, friends, and classmates as they entered the church for the boys’ funeral. Inside was a table decorated with pictures of Jeffrey, 13, and Nelson, 9, and a floral arrangement in the shape of a baseball, a symbol of their favorite sport. Their baseball and martial arts equipment sat nearby, still bearing the scuffs and dents of use. And in lieu of prayer cards, church staff handed out glossy sports trading cards featuring pictures of the brothers.

More than 100 people attended the Tinis’ funeral, held a little over a week after their deaths, allegedly at the hands of their mother. The Rev. Alex Pancoast told the crowd that while “words cannot describe” the loss, mourners should find hope in knowing they’re not alone in their grief.

“Today is one faced with questions we can’t answer: ‘Why did this happen?’ and ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’” Pancoast said. “I wish I had answers for you, but I don’t. What I do know is that God is with us in this moment.”

Moments later, Pancoast escorted the boys’ father, Ed Tini, as he carried an urn holding their remains to a hearse waiting outside. Earlier, Tini had welcomed scores of hugs, handshakes, and condolences during the visiting hours before the service.

The boys died May 6 at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, days after their mother, Trinh Nguyen, shot them in the head as they slept in their beds, according to prosecutors.

Nguyen, 38, remains in custody, charged with murder in their deaths. She also faces attempted-murder charges for attacking her neighbor Gianni Melchiondo outside her home shortly after the shooting. Prosecutors say Nguyen attempted to shoot Melchiondo, her former nephew, with the same black revolver she used to kill her children, but the gun didn’t fire, and Melchiondo was able to wrestle it away from her.

Melchiondo is the son of Corrina Tini-Melchiondo, Nguyen’s former sister-in-law and her landlord: She rented half of her duplex in Newtown to Nguyen and her sons.

What could have driven Nguyen to kill her children remains unclear. During a search of her home, detectives found evidence that she had planned the shootings at least a week in advance, including preparing a handwritten will with instructions on what to do with the boys’ remains.

Hours after the shooting, when Nguyen was arrested in the parking lot of a nearby Methodist church, officers found an apparent suicide note urging whoever found it to go to her home because her children were “dead in their beds,” according to the affidavit of probable cause for her arrest.

» READ MORE: The Bucks County woman who killed her sons had planned the shooting, prosecutors said

Court records show that the family had struggled financially in recent months. Nguyen owed Tini-Melchiondo more than $11,000 in unpaid rent, and was due to be evicted a day before police say she killed her sons, according to those records.

Last year, Nguyen had divorced Tini, who unsuccessfully sought sole custody of the boys, saying he feared that Nguyen would become a “classic parent kidnapper” and flee the country with them.

At Tuesday’s funeral, the priest urged mourners not to dwell on their sorrow, but to remember the joy they had shared with the brothers.

“On May 6, each one of our lives changed. There’s no denying that,” Pancoast said. “Our relationship with Jeffrey and Nelson has changed. Instead of talking to them face-to-face, we now pray for them, and ask them to help us become people of hope.”