Somehow I did not see this initial post of yours. That is why I asked about a previous thread. Here is a first stab at sorting this out.
In the West, there was (is?) a qualitative distinction between monastic consecration and marriage..
Marriage, the married state, is a Mystery/Sacrament. The Monastic, consecrated life is not. To me the monastic life is consecration to a complete (perfect) living of the vocation of the baptized; in that sense it is a Mystery for all the baptized.
Some try to apply that distinction to the clerical / laical relationship due to the idea of the ontological change that occurs at ordination.
An orthodox priest told me that they did not believe in an ontological change at ordination, but a "functional" change in how service in the Church is performed..
That seems the Orthodox view regarding ordination. It is the view of Met. John Zizioulas for example; see his book Being and Communion
regarding the sphragis/seal. Tonsure, not necessarily ordination, is traditionally the entrance into the clerical or monastic state.
I would to clarify and understand this. Am I misunderstanding? How are these two relationships understood in the byzantine churches?
Monastic vs Marriage? Clerical vs. laity?
My understanding as a Byzantine Catholic is Byzantine AND CATHOLIC. I accept that ordination conveys a seal, sphragis, usually called in the West a Character, as does baptism and chrismation.
One is either cleric or lay. A monastic is either cleric or lay; a monastic can be either ordained or not. A cleric can be ordained or not. A monastic is not married. One may be married and ordained, the traditional norm being one wife before ordination.