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reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Friday, May 30, 2008

Upcoming Shows

6/01 - Swingfield Playboys @ McGonigel's Mucky Duck
6/03 - X @ Warehouse Live
6/04 - Adam Carroll @ Puffabellys (Spring)
6/05 - Seven Nations @ the Mucky Duck
6/06 - Shake Russell @ the Mucky Duck
6/06 - Richard Dobson @ the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe (Galveston)
6/07 - Dedringers/Poi Dog Pondering @ the Continental Club
6/07 - The Hudsons @ Anderson Fair
6/07 - Ray Wylie Hubbard @ the Mucky Duck
6/09 - The Cure @ Toyota Center
6/10 - John Evans/Adam Carroll @ the Mucky Duck
6/10 - Carolyn Wonderland @ Last Concert Cafe
6/11 - Ryan Bingham @ Warehouse Live
6/12 - Owen Temple @ Armadillo Palace
6/13 - The Gougers @ the Mucky Duck
6/13 - Scott Miller @ Cactus Music and the Record Ranch (in-store)
6/13 - 14 - Bill Staines @ Anderson Fair
6/14 - Miss Leslie & Her Juke-Jointers @ the Continental Club
6/14 - Sisters Morales @ Dosey Doe Coffee House (Woodlands)
6/14 - Bleu Edmondson @ Firehouse Saloon
6/16 - Joshua James/Justin Townes Earle @ Warehouse Live
6/16 - Justin Townes Earle @ Cactus Music (in-store)
6/17 - Betty Soo/Idgy Vaughn @ the Mucky Duck
6/19 - Jonny Lang @ Verizon Theater
6/19 - Eliza Gilkyson @ the Mucky Duck
6/19 - Eliza Gilkyson @ Cactus Music (in-store)
6/19 - Owen Temple @ Blanco's
6/20 - Matt the Electrician/Southpaw Jones @ Anderson Fair
6/20 - Jason Boland & the Stragglers @ Big Texas (Clear Lake)
6/20 - Gary P. Nunn @ Blanco's
6/21 - John Evans/Jesse Dayton @ the Continental Club
6/21 - Patrice Pike @ the Mucky Duck
6/21 - Across the Water @ Mojo Risin'
6/22 - Tom Waits @ Jones Hall (Sold Out)
6/22 - Hamilton Loomis @ the Mucky Duck
6/24 - Abra Moore/Peter Bradley Adams/Will Sexton @ the Duck
6/24 - Cory Morrow @ Dosey Doe Coffee House
6/26 - Max Stalling @ the Mucky Duck
6/27 - Robert Earl Keen @ The Showgrounds
6/27 - Reckless Kelly @ Cactus Music (in-store)
6/27 - Albert and Gage @ Anderson Fair
6/27 - South Austin Jug Band @ Last Concert Cafe
6/28 - Band of Heathens @ the Mucky Duck
6/28 - Caroline Herring @ Anderson Fair
6/28 - Micky & the Motorcars @ Firehouse Saloon
6/29 - Patty Larkin @ the Mucky Duck


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Merck Wins Vioxx Appeals

Merck won appeals in two significant Vioxx cases today.

Appeals Courts in New Jersey and Texas overturned multimillion dollar plaintiffs' verdicts in both cases.

This article from the New York Times has more details.

A press release from Merck can be read here.

A press release from the Lanier Law Firm regarding the Texas case can be read here.

The Opinion from the Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals can be read here.

The Opinion from the New Jersey Superior Court-Appellate Division can be read here.

More coverage from the WSJ Law Blog can be found here.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Archbishop Demetrios Visits Moscow

Photo Sources here and here

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios is currently visiting Moscow.

Archbishop Demetrios leads a delegation of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on an official visit to the Moscow Patriarchate at the invitation of Patriarch Alexei II.

More details on the Archbishop's visit can be found here, here and here.

Archbishop Demetrios' Address delivered at the Moscow Spiritual Academy can be read here.

Photos of the delegation's visit can be viewed here, here and here.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Kursk Root Icon at St. Tikhon's Monastery

Photo Source

This weekend the Kursk Root Icon was brought to St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery as part of their annual pilgrimage. The Kursk Root Icon was placed next to the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov.

More details on the visit of the Kursk Root Icon can be found here.

More details on St. Tikhon's annual pilgrimage and the relics of St. Seraphim can be found here.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Guy Forsyth

Photo Source

Saturday night I saw Guy Forsyth in concert at the Mucky Duck.

Guy is touring with a new band lineup which features Will Landin on bass and sousaphone and Rob Hooper on percussion.

This was my first time to see Guy in concert. I had heard that he always puts on a great show and this one was no exception.

The stage was full of the band's gear and instruments including a couple of different guitars for Guy, his ukulele and saw, a number of effects boards and pedals, Hooper's box and drum set and Will's sousaphone at the back of the stage.

Guy's music is difficult to categorize and draws from a number of influences. It has a strong blues influence but also contains elements of roadhouse-style rock as well as some Americana and jazz influences. His style is very eclectic. Some of his songs remind me a lot of Tom Waits as he employs a similar vocal style on them.

Guy's musical saw playing is phenomenal. The saw is bowed in case you were wondering. A video of Guy playing the saw can be seen here. He's also a pretty decent ukulele player as can be seen here.

I am still new to Guy's music so it was the first time I had heard most of the songs he played. Some of the highlights were: "Children of Jack", "Hometown Boy" and "Can you Live Without", (all from the band's new cd) as well as "105", "Whatever", "My True Friends"and "Momma's Favorite" (both featuring ukulele and sousaphone).

You can check out Guy's music at his awesome new website and his myspace page.

An interesting side note...after the concert I complimented Will on his excellent tuba playing and we got to talking...turns out we both studied tuba in college around the same time and knew some of the same people from those days. It's a small world for tuba players!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Merck Agrees to $58 Million Vioxx Settlement

Merck has agreed to a $58 million settlement with 29 states relating to investigations into Merck's advertising of Vioxx.

This article from the New York Times has more details.

The settlement agreement between Merck and the State of Texas can be found here.

A press release from the Attorney General of Texas can be found here.

A press release from Merck can be found here.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Kursk Root Icon Will Be At St. Tikhon's Monastery Annual Pilgrimage

Photo Source here and here

The Kursk Root Icon as well as relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov will be present for the 104th Annual Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.

This article has more details on the pilgrimage.

More information on the history of St. Tikhon's can be found here.


Enthronement of Metropolitan Hilarion

Photo Source

Photos of the enthronement of Metropolitan Hilarion as the new First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia can be seen here along with an address by his Eminence.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Epistle of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

From the Official website of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia:

NEW YORK: May 16, 2008
Epistle of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to the God-loving Flock

"This is the day that the Lord has made, We will rejoice and be glad in it."

In these joyous Paschal days, we address you, beloved-in-Christ pastors, monastics and faithful flock, with the Paschal greeting: Christ is Risen!

Having gathered from various countries of the Russian diaspora in the God-saved city of New York to decide on important church matters after the death of the fifth Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus of blessed memory, we sense profoundly that great sorrow which has befallen all of us when we learned of his untimely, in our view, passing from the earthly life into the eternal life.

Our sorrow would be almost inconsolable if we did not remember the words from Holy Scripture: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain" (Revelations 21:4).

We especially feel this consolation from the Lord in these joyful Paschal days, when "We feast death’s slaughter, the overthrow of Hell, the first fruits of a new eternal life." As we saw off our First Hierarch, Metropolitan Laurus, who was loved by everyone, we were witnesses to that filial devotion and profound love for the reposed that a thousand worshipers had, who had traveled from throughout the world for his funeral. Metropolitan Laurus possessed all the virtues and qualities of an archpastor referred to in Holy Scripture: " A bishop then must be blameless… sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach… not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre" (1 Timothy 3:2-3).

The greatest achievement of his fervent service to the Church over the course of many decades was the reestablishment of unity within the Local Russian Church. By the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion together with His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia on May 17, 2007, in the rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Metropolitan Laurus earned a place not only in the history of the Russian Church, but in the history of Russia. During his ceremonial visits to the various cities and monasteries of Russia after the signing of the Act, Metropolitan Laurus was greeted everywhere with surprising inspiration, deep respect and genuine love, seeing in this humble archpastor a hero of the spirit, who overcame all obstacles for the achievement of the desire ecclesiastical unity.

It is noteworthy that Metropolitan Laurus of blessed memory departed for the Lord on the day of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, when the Holy Church celebrates victory over false teachings and heresies, and when the Church prays specially for the conversion of those who had gone astray and for their return to the bosom of the Holy Church, "that they may all be one" (John 17:21).

For this reason, it is particularly fitting for us once more to appeal to those who have not accepted the path of ecclesiastical reconciliation and have separated from us with a call to return to the bosom of our Church, which has not departed from its legacy in any way and faithfully adheres to the course laid down by Her former First Hierarchs.

Having prayed for the repose of the bright soul of our deeply-revered late First Hierarch, Metropolitan Laurus, and having performed a moleben invoking the Holy Spirit upon us, the archpastors present, and praying to the Most-Holy Mother of God before Her Miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Sign, and invoking the prayerful aid of the Holy New Martyrs of Russia, we commenced with the important task of electing a new Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

By God's mercy, His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand was elected on the first vote, in one spirit, and elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.

One cannot ignore the providential significance of the fact that the donning of the white Metropolitan's klobuk and the light blue mantle of the newly-elected First Hierarch will occur precisely on May 4/17, the exact day of the first anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion. This providential event underscores the continuity of the newly-elected Primate in the work of his predecessor.

In connection with this, we, the archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, note with great joy that on the day of his election, the new First Hierarch said the following:

"I piously and lovingly prostrate myself before the blessed memory of my predecessor, whose great task I intend to continue, with God's help, relying on the support of my brother archpastors, clergy and flock."

The new Primate also said:

"Following the testament of Christ on preserving unity, we await with open arms those brothers and sisters of ours who left the Church. The main thing in the life of our Church is to make an example of love, unity, patience and humility, for the Lord said: 'By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.' If we actively strive towards God and commit good works to the best of our abilities, manifesting the laws of the Gospel and the Holy Fathers, then our Church will blossom. And the aroma of this blossoming will show the spiritual benefit and saving grace of the great task of reestablishing the fullness of brotherly communion of the Local Russian Orthodox Church achieved by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus. I believe that those who left us with time will see the rich fruits of church unity, of joint witness of the Truth of Christ and the preaching of our ideals of Holy Russia. But for this to happen, both parts of the Russian Orthodox Church must speak their great word, 'Hearken,' they must speak their Holy Russian word to the world, not so much vocally as through our lives and service, by being an example of the love of Christ."

And we, the archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, attest to the fact that we are fully prepared to support our new First Hierarch as he occupies the lofty post of Helmsman of the Russian Church Abroad, calling also upon our God-loving flock to do so, and we ask the holy prayers of all the pastors and flock, in the words of the Apostle: "pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:18), that the Lord grant the elected the strength and wisdom to guide the Russian Church Abroad for many good years.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you" (Colossians 1:3).

Indeed He is Risen!

+Metropolitan Hilarion April 30/May 13, 2008
+Archbishop Alypy
+Archbishop Mark +Bishop Gabriel
+Archbishop Kyrill +Bishop Agapit
+Bishop Michael +Bishop Peter


Friday, May 16, 2008

Tom Waits - Tom Traubert's Blues - 1977

"No one speaks English, and everything's broken"

Did I mention that Tom Waits is a freaking genius and quite possibly the coolest man alive?

Well he is...and here's a video of him performing "Tom Traubert's Blues" (aka Waltzing Matilda) on an episode of the Old Grey Whistle Test.


Tom Waits

Photo Source

I got a ticket for the Tom Waits concert!

He will be performing in Houston on June 22nd at Jones Hall at 8pm.

At $104.89 (after service fees and tax) it was the most money I have ever paid for a concert ticket...but Tom Waits is a freaking genius.

He hasn't played Houston since 1982! To put that into perspective I was 12 years old the last time he came to town. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity.

Here's the video of Tom's press conference announcing the tour:


Can't wait.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Vioxx Verdict Overturned

The WSJ Law Blog has a good post on yesterday's decision by the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals which overturned a $7.75 million (originally a $32 million) verdict from a Vioxx case that was originally tried in Starr County, Texas.

Earlier coverage of the allegations of juror misconduct in this trial can be found here.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Loudon Wainwright - Cardboard Boxes

Here's another Loudon clip that showcases the lighter side of his songwriting skills. : )


Loudon Wainwright - Your Mother and I

Here is a video of Loudon Wainwright III performing his song "Your Mother and I" on an old episode of Austin City Limits (including a reference to the old Armadillo World Headquarters).

This song is a good example of Loudon's poignant and often very personal songwriting.


Loudon Wainwright

Last Sunday evening I had the pleasure of seeing Loudon Wainwright III in concert. Loudon performed at one of the new Bend Studio concerts. These concerts, hosted at the NiaMoves yoga studio, feature talented singer-songwriters who perform in an intimate and alcohol and smoke-free setting.

The show was opened by Amy Cook. Amy is an impressive songwriter from Austin. She played several of her well-crafted songs including "Come Down Easy", "The Eclipse" and "Hotel Lights" as well as a Bob Dylan cover (what is the song with "momma" in the title?) in honor of Mother's Day. The Mother's Day theme would continue throughout the show. She was a big hit with the audience and sold out of all her cds. Hopefully she will come back soon to headline her own show.

Loudon took the "stage" (actually a rug) wearing bright orange socks (everyone had to take their shoes off to enter the studio). He also commented on the lack of alcohol stating: "I see no one's drunk here tonight!"

I am not very familiar with Loudon's music though "Dead Skunk" was one of my favorite songs when I was a little kid. Loudon played a number of songs, most of which I was hearing for the first time, so I didn't catch all of the titles. It seemed he concentrated more on his newer songs from the last few years. He did play some of his older and more popular songs as well. The songs I can remember the titles for were: "Primrose Hill", "White Winos", "The Movies are a Mother to Me", "Me and all the Other Mothers" (that Mother's Day theme again), "You Can't Fail Me Now", "Valley Morning" and "Doin' the Math" (from the Strange Weirdos cd), "Muse Blues", "Hank and Fred", "Double Lifetime", "Homeless", "Guilty Conscience and a Broken Heart" and the politically pointed "President's Day".

Loudon is a songwriting genius who excels in writing extraordinary songs about the often ordinary details and struggles of everyday life. He also has one wild sense of humor and has penned several quirky little gems that leave you rolling with laughter.

In addition to his own distinguished performing and songwriting career Loudon's children are also following in the same path. Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche all have their own musical careers. His concert on Mother's Day was a treat...but a Father's Day concert...now that would be interesting!


Monday, May 12, 2008

Many Years!

Today His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand was elected as the new First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Details on the election of the new Metropolitan can be found here and here.

An interview with the newly elected Metropolitan Hilarion can be found here.

Many Years!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

An oldie but a goodie...

Happy Mother's Day!


Friday, May 09, 2008

Bread & Roses

Here's a video of Audrey Auld Mezera performing her song "Bread & Roses" at FODfest '07 in Memphis.

This is a beautiful song she wrote for a performance for inmates at San Quentin Prison as part of her work with the Bread & Roses organization.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Audrey Auld Mezera

"Audrey is one of the most honest original artists I know." - Fred Eaglesmith

Last night I went to see Audrey Auld Mezera in concert at the Mucky Duck. Audrey was joined on stage by Andrew Hardin.

Audrey is originally from Tasmania but now lives in Nashville.

I had seen her once before at the Duck (when she opened for Fred Eaglesmith) and was impressed with her singing. It was nice to hear a full two-set show from her this time.

She now has several cds in her catalogue of recordings. Audrey's music is often marked by its simplicity, directness and honesty. She writes songs that are both emotionally powerful as well as humorous and witty.

In this concert, she and Andrew played mostly her own songs with a few well-chosen covers mixed in as well. Some of the highlights included: "Last Seen in Gainesville", "Down in a Hole", "Self-Help Helped Me", a rambunctious cover of Ernest Tubb's "Drivin' Nails In My Coffin", "40", the exquisite new song "Bread and Roses" which she wrote for a performance she gave for the inmates of San Quentin Prison (this song can be heard on her myspace page), a powerful version of Fred Eaglesmith's "Alcohol and Pills", "I'd Leave Me Too", "Losing Faith", "Drinking Problem", "Love You Like The Earth", "Jelly Roll", "Ball and Chain", "Tree", "Nashville #1" and a cover of Slim Dusty's Australian hit "Pub With No Beer".


Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Photo Source

Today the Orthodox Church celebrates Radonitsa, the “Day of Rejoicing”, on which memorial services for the dead are served and which immediately follows the services for Pascha and Bright Week.

The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has decreed that a pannikhida be served today in all parishes in remembrance of Metropolitan Laurus who reposed on the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.

A reflection on Metropolitan Laurus’ life and service to the Church by Protopriest Peter Perekrestov (composed on Great and Holy Thursday which also marked the 40th day of the Metropolitan’s repose) can be read here.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

More Mahler

Here is a video of the final breathtaking minutes of Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony.

This video is a from a 1998 performance conducted by Sir Simon Rattle with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus along with soloists Anne Sophie Von Otter and Hillevi Martinpelto.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony

Photo Source

Last night I attended a performance by the Houston Symphony of Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony at Jones Hall. The Symphony is commonly known as the "Resurrection Symphony".

This Symphony, while popular, is seldom programmed due to the large number of performers required. The only other time I was able to hear this work performed was 19 years ago in 1989 when Christoph Eschenbach conducted a performance by the Houston Symphony. With this being Bright Week in the Orthodox Church I simply could not pass up a chance to witness this performance.

The Houston Symphony was joined in this performance by the Houston Symphony Chorus along with soprano Erin Wall and contralto Meredith Arwady. The conductor for this concert was Maestro Hans Graf, the Music Director of the Houston Symphony.

Mahler's Second Symphony was composed during the years 1888-1894. His sources of inspiration for the Symphony included: the collection of German folk poetry known as Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and Friedrich Klopstock's Resurrection Chorale.

The Symphony consists of five movements. The fourth movement is a setting of the poem Urlicht from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. The fifth movement contains a setting of Klopstock's Resurrection chorale as rewritten by Mahler to which he added these additional lines (here in an English translation):

O believe,
You were not born for nothing!
Have not for nothing, lived, suffered!

What was created
Must perish,
What perished, rise again!

Cease from trembling!
Prepare yourself to live!

O Pain, You piercer of all things,
From you, I have been wrested!
O Death, You masterer of all things,
Now, are you conquered!

With wings which I have won me,
In love’s fierce striving,
I shall soar upwards
To the light which no eye has penetrated!
Its wing that I won is expanded,
and I fly up.

Die shall I in order to live.
Rise again, yes, rise again,
Will you, my heart, in an instant!
That for which you suffered,
To God will it lead you!

The performance by the Orchestra, Chorus and soloists was excellent. Graf's interpretation was very good though quite different from my recollection of Eschenbach's interpretation. He offered a leaner, more straightforward approach that was not overly dramatic. The tempos were also quicker than Eschenbach's.

Some of the highlights of the performance for me were the solos performed by the concertmaster and the principal trumpet, the offstage brass sections, the brass playing during the Chorale, 'Dies Irae' and finale sections and the singing of the Chorus during the final movement.

The last five minutes or so of the final movement (which simultaneously employs the Chorus, Orchestra, Organ and both soloists) is one of the most moving and spiritual passages in all of music. One has to hear a live performance to fully appreciate it. It is simply spell-binding. The performers did not disappoint here either. The finale was magnificent.

The only disappointment in the performance for me (a minor quibble) was that the electronic organ used in the finale was mostly lost in the acoustics of Jones Hall. One day I hope to hear this piece again but performed in a Cathedral or Hall with a proper pipe organ.

The performance of this piece by the Houston Symphony continues through this weekend. You can find out more details on the two remaining performances here.

is a review of the performance from the Houston Chronicle.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

DNA Tests Confirm the Deaths of the Last Missing Romanovs

“This has confirmed that indeed it is the children...We have now found the entire family.”

From the New York Times:

May 1, 2008

DNA Tests Confirm the Deaths of the Last Missing Romanovs


MOSCOW (AP) — For nine decades after Bolshevik executioners shot Czar Nicholas II and his family, there were no traces of the remains of Crown Prince Aleksei, the hemophiliac heir to Russia's throne.

Some said the prince, a delicate 13-year-old, had somehow survived and escaped; others believed he was buried in secret as the country lurched into civil war.

Now an official says DNA tests have solved the mystery by identifying bone shards found in a forest as those of Aleksei and his sister Grand Duchess Maria.

The remains of their parents, Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra, and three siblings, including the czar’s youngest daughter, Anastasia, were unearthed in 1991 and reburied in the imperial resting place in St. Petersburg. The Russian Orthodox Church made all seven of them saints in 2000.

Researchers unearthed the bone shards last summer in a forest near Yekaterinburg, where the royal family was killed, and enlisted laboratories in Russia and the United States to conduct DNA tests.

Eduard Rossel, governor of the region 900 miles east of Moscow, said Wednesday that tests done by an American laboratory had identified the shards as those of Aleksei and Maria.

“This has confirmed that indeed it is the children,” he said. “We have now found the entire family.”

Mr. Rossel did not specify the laboratory, but a genetic research team working at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has been involved in the process. Evgeny Rogaev, who headed the team that tested the remains in Moscow and at the medical school in Worcester, Mass., was called into the case by the Russian Federation Prosecutor’s Office.

He said Wednesday that he had delivered the results to the Russian authorities, but that it was up to the prosecutor’s office to disclose the findings.

“The most difficult work is done, and we have delivered to them our expert analysis, but we are still working,” he said. “Scientifically, we want to make the most complete investigation possible.” Despite the earlier discoveries and ceremonies, the absence of Aleksei’s and Maria’s remains gnawed at descendants of the Romanovs, history buffs and royalists. Even if the announcement is confirmed and widely accepted, many descendants of the royal family are unlikely to be fully assuaged; they seek formal rehabilitation by the government.

“The tragedy of the czar’s family will only end when the family is declared victims of political repression,” said German Lukyanov, a lawyer for royal descendants.

Nicholas abdicated in 1917 as revolutionary fervor swept Russia, and he and his family were detained. They were shot by a firing squad on July 17, 1918, in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg.