the only limit is in case you feel a priestly vocation: priests should be married with an Orthodox wife and if you're married with a non-Orthodox wife you'll never be listed as a candidate for Holy Orders.
This is one key reason why OO churches do not permit what is phrased here as "mixed" marriages.
The 'concept' of these "mixed" religious (so-called) "unions" are filled with conditions and deal making and so on which is really more like 'arrangements' than actual Marriage in accordance with true Holy Orthodoxy.
The man and women become "one flesh" as St.Paul teaches the Holy Church. He says "it is a mystery".
The ordainence of marriage is thus a 'mystery'. Not a deal bewteen the two people.
Two people bound by common baptism only (if that is beleived) and NOT the 'whole' faith directly challenges the teachings of God in His Holy Church that by the grace of the Holy Spirit we are empowered and 'united'
in "One faith and One love and One body and One baptism".
St. Paul teaches extensively on the matter.
Anything else is simply man trying to 'fix' things up or as I heard in a recent sermon "holy up" the matter. We need more convenience today and that is NO mystery....We all know what that is about!
Finally; (but not least) to engage the challenge the 'deal' of raising the children as 'orthodox' must be kept.Clearly this is a work of man....a "deal".....not a mystery.
Marriage is incorporated by the gift of the Holy Spirit and comsumated in the body and blood of Christ. That is why the Bride and groom after becoming Husband and Wife must take Holy Communion.....No 'deals' about this.
I know I am going to be ridiculed for this point of view since I know many EO who are in mixed marriages and wabnt to fell 'good about it; especially since the "the Church" approved it".
I am not talking about 'married' couples who were divided by one person coming into orthodoxy and the other remained outside. That is a different issue not for this thread.
Actually I have seen for myself a "mixed" marriage performed in a OO church. I was there. It was sad to see. The women was not crowned only the orthodox man was crowned and NO commune service was done. I was shocked. I asked myself "are they really married?" I presumed the answer is Yes since the preist did perform the rite. What is notable is that the rite was 'modified'
to 'fit' the needs of the couple.
A few years latter A Hegumen (arch priest) upon my asking him how this happned he said: "We (clergy and laity) are custodians of the Holy Rites that has come to us from God in His Church. God will judge us for our well doing and our bad in this regard. He will also bless us for teaching the 'whole' truth which our Rites are firmly based and as such are holy....sacred mysteries that we mortal men have no part in shaping. If we fail to teach this basis and the 'whole' truth of it and people stumble than......God help us all!".
I got his point.
Marriage is a very sensitive area for us.
I pray that all who seek it get it but only by Gods will.
St Paul never married. He taught us how to approach the matter noting that it is good for a man to restrain himself if he is able. But if he burns inside than he should marry.
I pray that each of us knows when God is asking us to do His work. For some we are to be monks or nuns. Some will marry but will not be blessed with children, some will be single for life etc. Whatever we find oursleves in lets accept our condition with confidence without struggle with our desires or 'others' desires for us. I pray that we remain children of God in all matters. 'Whole'.
If you must marry an un-orthodox person and your OC will allow it than peace be unto you.
Just remember that no future in the church is possible. That is you are not ordainable.
A very serious matter indeed. That is reason enough to reconsider.
Is it worth loosing your Rites in the Orthodox Holy Church?
For those who have OC's that will even ordain mixed married men. I would find another orthodox community to worship in.