Vatican website translation:
62. With the passage of time, however, there have crept into the rites of the sacraments and sacramentals certain features which have rendered their nature and purpose far from clear to the people of today; hence some changes have become necessary to adapt them to the needs of our own times. For this reason the sacred Council decrees as follows concerning their revision.
62. Cum autem, successu temporum, quaedam in Sacramentorum et Sacramentalium ritus irrepserint, quibus eorum natura et finis nostris temporibus minus eluceant, atque adeo opus sit quaedam in eis ad nostrae aetatis necessitates accommodare, Sacrosanctum Concilium ea quae sequuntur de eorum recognitione decernit.
Slavishly literal translation:
62. However, with the succession of times, certain things have insinuated themselves into the rites of the Sacraments and of the Sacramentals by which their nature and end is less clear to our times, and so as the task is to accommodate certain things in them [i.e., the rites] to the necessities of our age, the Most Sacred Council decrees the things that follow concerning their examination/revision/renewal.
Art. 62 makes the transition from the theoretical foundations found in arts. 59-61 to the subsequent practical decrees for the revision of the celebration of sacraments other than the Eucharist and of the sacramentals. The Council Fathers highlight two overarching principles to guide these practical revisions: 1) if there are historical elements of the liturgical celebration of sacraments and sacramentals that do not pertain to the essence of the sacrament or sacramental which have become impediments to the full, conscious and active participation of the faithful, they should be changed; and 2) changes in the liturgical celebration of sacraments and sacramentals should not be arbitrary, but should genuinely respond to the needs of the day. From my perspective, the second of these principles suggests the need for continuing liturgical renewal since the “nostrae aetatis necessitates” will continue to change over time.
Pray Tell readers may wish to discuss how well these two principles have been in evidence in the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals over the past fifty years. They may also wish to comment on the controversy between adapting/accommodating liturgy to the needs of a given age vs. adapting/accommodating a given age to the structures and sign-systems of the liturgy. Art. 62 seems a concrete manifestation of the insight of SC 21 that “…the liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. These not only may but ought to be changed with the passage of time if they have suffered from the intrusion of anything out of harmony with the inner nature of the liturgy or have become unsuited to it. “ However the same questions that were raised there about how we distinguish immutable from changeable elements, what criteria are employed to determine which elements of ritual obscure the nature and end of the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals, who has the authority to determine this, and how that authority is to be exercised.