On the 26th of April 2009, Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America served liturgy with Patriarch Kirill at Christ the Savior Cathedral. The Patriarch then addressed Metropolitan Jonah with the following words:
Your Eminence Jonah, Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of all America and Canada, beloved in Christ brother and co-celebrant! Wise bishops and priests! Dear brothers and sisters!
Christ is Risen!
It brings me great joy to greet the delegation of the Orthodox Church in America headed by His Eminence Vladyka Jonah during these bright Paschal days. In your first official visit as a newly-chosen primate, which you are making to the Moscow Patriarchate, you have emphasized the special interrelation of American Orthodoxy with its Mother Church. This relation, filled with a spirit of love and unity, truly can be characterized by the words of the apostle, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5). Today we have sealed our unity with communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, and every one of us, in answer to the touch of Grace of the risen Lord, can, together with Thomas, from all his heart exclaim, “My Lord and my God! (John 20:28).
It is remarkable that our present co-serving took place under the roof of this great church of Christ the Savior, whose history has something in common with the Gospel motifs, that is, the earthly life and resurrection of the Lord. This church consecutively went through periods of glory, abuse, complete destruction, and, finally, restoration in even more beauty that it had before. Deeply revered saints of our Church carried out their service here: St. Tikhon, Patriarch of all Russia, and Priest-martyr Alexander Khotovitsky, former dean of this cathedral. They both worked a good deal in spreading the Orthodoxy faith on the North-American continent. Today their efforts are being worthily continued by you, your Eminence, and your co-laborers. Having all the rights of an autocephelous Church, the Orthodox Church in America successfully witnesses to Orthodoxy in the New World. Through the efforts of you, Your Eminence, more and more attention is being given to the missionary service of the Church. But otherwise it cannot be as from the very beginning your Church was missionary, which was headed by the great preacher of the Word of God, St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.
Your Eminence! I heartily wish you and your delegation a pleasant and beneficial time in the confines of the Russian Orthodox Church. I rejoice in the ability to interact with you and your delegation and to talk about the fate of American Orthodoxy, the state of affairs in Ecumenical [world-wide] Orthodoxy, and our mutual relations. May these days in Russia be for you full of good impressions and inexhaustible Paschal joy. I want to assure you that you are among brothers and friends.
Christ is Risen!
+Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia