The weather also cast an appropriately somber mood over the 9:30 a.m. moment of silence in Newtown, Conn.
The silence marked a week since a man, identified by police as Adam Lanza, invaded the school and killed 20 children and six adults and it was observed in many places across the country.
Church bells were then rung 26 times, once to honor each of the victims.
One local church, the Newtown United Methodist Church, rang its bells 28 times, also memorializing Lanza and his mother, Nancy, whom the gunman killed before heading for the school, police have said.
Grace McDonnell, Dylan Hockley, Rachel Marie D'Avino, Mary Sherlach and Olivia Engel were memorialized Friday.
Speaking at his daughter's funeral Mass, Christopher McDonnell told the hundreds of mourners who gathered at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church that he wished he had been at the school to protect his daughter, "Gracie," who was 7.
As the Newtown church's stained-glass windows reflected pink and purple, Grace's favorite colors, those who came to celebrate her life, and to say goodbye, were told how much she loved the beach, seashells and lighthouses.
"Seashells remind us that every passing light leaves something behind," program for the Mass read. "May you always have a shell in your pocket, and sand in your shoes."
In addition to Grace's father, her big brother, Jack, and her mother, Lynn spoke.
When the mass began, it was pouring, but as the Mass neared its end, the sun began to come through the stained-glass windows in the church.
The funeral ended with the singing of "Amazing Grace." At that exact moment, the church lit up as the sun shone brightly.
Dylan Hockley's mother, Nicole, made sure her son's funeral service at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, Conn., was a celebration of his life, not a day of mourning.
Hockley recalled asking Dylan why he flapped his arms when he got excited. She hadn't expected an answer because Dylan had a form of autism that left him with undeveloped language skills.
But he had an answer, and it was one that could easily apply to the 25 other victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
"Because I am a beautiful butterfly," Dylan told his mother.
Hockley said Friday "if one butterfly can cause a hurricane, then 26 butterflies can change the world."
A singer, a pianist and a painter played roles in the service. The singer changed the words to Dylan's favorite song, "Hallelujah" from "Shrek," to pay tribute to Dylan and the other victims. Above a stage, two screens displayed pictures and a video of Dylan's life.
Friends of the family described Dylan as a joyous, loving little boy who often would laugh himself silly by repeatedly replaying parts of his favorite movies.
The hundreds of friends and family members who had gathered were told that, in the end, Dylan died in the arms of his beloved teacher, Anne Marie Murphy, another of the victims.
At the end of the service, the New York/New Jersey Port Authority Pipe Band played "Amazing Grace," and Dylan's older brother, Jack, let go of a purple balloon for his brother.
Another 25 balloons were let go in a bunch.
Rachel Marie D'Avino
A behavioral health therapist who worked with children with autism, Rachel Marie D'Avino, 29, loved animals, cooking, baking, photography and karate, mourners were told as they gathered at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Conn., where D'Avino lived.
Her boyfriend had just asked her parents for D'Avino's hand in marriage, she was working toward a doctorate from the University of St. Joseph in Hartford, and just last week she had completed the final requirements to become a board-certified behavior analyst.
Despite the heavy rains and wind that cast Friday morning in a shroud of wet darkness, as D'Avino's younger sister, Sarah, began to deliver the eulogy, the sun pierced through the skylight the church, shrouding the closed casket.
"Everything she did had an air of confidence, but never arrogance," Sarah D'Avino told the more than 200 people who had gathered together. "That was Rachel - a hard worker, a risk taker, a winner. She excelled at everything she did, such as her incredible patience and ability to work with those with special needs, adults and children alike.
"She was so important to so many people. She drove to work with a smile. We might think, if given the chance, Rachel might have gone on to do great things. She had already done great things working with autism awareness, her job working with clients with developmental disabilities and her labor of love as a daughter, a sister and a friend.
"Our home's foundation has been rocked to the core from this enormous loss," Sarah D'Avino said. The Rev. Joseph E. Looney gave the homily, and Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of the Archdiocese of Hartford shared a prayer as well.
A friend of Mary Sherlach's was halfway through a remembrance of the 56-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim when he stopped to take off his jacket and put on a Miami Dolphin's jersey.
He said Sherlach was an avid football fan, and especially fond of former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino.
"Let's face it," he said. "She was Mary Marino, wasn't she?"
Those gathered at her Mass of Christian burial at St. Stephen's Roman Catholic Church in Trumbull, Conn., wore orange, aqua and white, the Dolphin's colors. It was another tribute to Sherlach's love of the team.
Another friend told mourners who filled the church to capacity that the elementary school's psychologist valued her family and friends.
"They say you only have a couple really good friends in life that you can count on for anything at anytime," he said. "Mary was that friend to several people."
He said that Mary and her husband of 31 years, Bill, had the opportunity to spend time together last Friday morning before she left for school, and reminded everyone in attendance to spend time with his or her loved ones and not to take a single day for granted.
As Olivia Engel's favorite American Girl doll sat on top of her little white casket at Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown Friday afternoon, mourners recalled how she was supposed to be an angel in a church play a week ago.
"Now she's an angel up in heaven," said Monsignor Robert Weiss, who said the heavy rain Friday morning and the funerals held at Saint Rose of Lima - nine in all - would "wash the evil" out of Newtown.
Olivia was remembered as a girl who was fond of animals, dancing and especially her 3-year-old brother, Brayden, whom she helped potty train by giving him stickers.
Olivia died in the arms of a Newtown police officer, who told her that he loved her as she died, said Deacon Don Naiman. The officer passed Olivia into Jesus' waiting arms, he said.
As for how to heal, Weiss said, "It's not enough to break those video games or throw our guns away."
If change doesn't come after the events in Newtown, it likely will never come, he said.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and Newtown First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra attended the funeral.
On Thursday, funerals were held for Sandy Hook Elementary School staff member Lauren Rousseau, special education teacher Anne Marie Murphy, student Allison Wyatt, 6, student Catherine Hubbard, and student Ben Wheeler, 6.
This story was reported by Kurtis Lee of the Denver Post, Jenny DeHuff of (the Norristown) Times Herald, John Hilton of the York Daily Record, Rich Scinto of the New Haven Register and Jennifer Swift of the New Haven Register.