The Reverend Colin McIntosh led the congregation at the city's historic cathedral at an emotional service attended by the Queen and the victims' families on the Sunday after the shootings at Dunblane Primary School in March 1996.
His associate minister has described him as a "superb human being."
The minister became close to many of the families and took funerals for some of the 16 schoolchildren who died along with their teacher Gwen Mayor after gunman Thomas Hamilton burst into the school gym.
In a sermon televised live across the country by the BBC, the Rev McIntosh said the children were victims of attack that no one will ever understand.
He told those present: "We are remembering every boy and girl in that class because we know how happy they were and how much fun they had together and how much their parents loved them and how unfair and wrong it all seems to be, and we don't understand it. Even the grown-ups don't understand."
The Reverend McIntosh had spent 25 years at the church where a memorial stone carved with the names of the victims' stands. To mark his retirement, a special edition of the cathedral's magazine has been produced.
Tributes included those by Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, whose three children were former pupils of the school in Dunblane. Lord Robertson also sent his eldest son to Hamilton's youth club before removing him.
"The events of March 1996 were to be defining for so many people in the town and way beyond it. As the full measure of the evil which had visited Dunblane sank in, the role of the cathedral and its minister became unavoidably pivotal," wrote Lord Robertson in the magazine. "On the day of the horror and as the shock waves spread, hundreds of people flocked to the town in sympathy and solidarity with a community almost paralysed with grief - and headed for the cathedral. Almost 20 years on, my own hands still tremble as I write about it.
"A huge burden fell on the shoulders of the minister on that night and in the succeeding weeks of funerals and visits.
"On the night, Colin faced an overflowing church, filled with those of multiple faiths and none, all in highly-charged emotion and turmoil and all looking to the pulpit for words of comfort.
"Colin rose to the challenge. Calm, authoritative, controlled, offering no glib theological reasoning. He shared the deep, visceral feeling of sadness. He addressed simply the widespread sense of mystification and anger at how one human being could have inflicted so much misery and violence on so many others. People left a little less raw.
"Few parish ministers will have to face what Colin faced that day and in the long days which followed, but when it arrived out of the blue, he was ready."
On the tenth anniversary, the Rev McIntosh helped light candles in memory of the victims and encouraged the media to respect the families' privacy by staying away from the city.
The cathedral's associate minister, the Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton, said: "Colin had an incredible ministry - he is a superb human being. Dunblane is a strong community and Colin's ministry has a lot to do with it."
In December, the Rev McIntosh left messages of support with the community of Sandy Hook in Connecticut, USA, following the shootings at the town's elementary school which left 26 dead, mostly young children.
He pointed to the similarities between the killings, adding: "So perhaps we can begin to understand what they're going through, and the sheer numbing incomprehension they must all be feeling.
"There will be big questions and dilemmas for them on gun control, as there were for us."
Reverend McIntosh, who was previously minister of St John's Renfield Church in Glasgow, was not contactable yesterday.