From a reader:
At this year’s Palm Sunday Mass (Novus Ordo) at a Benedictine monastery near where I live, the Passion Narrative was cut in its entirety and replaced with a slide show of sorts narrated by children from the parish. The little narratives dealt with scenes from Holy Week in the widest sense, but bore no resemblance to the sung Passion that this monastery used to do on Palm Sunday.
Do the rubrics of the Novus Ordo allow for this sort of substitution, or was this liturgical abuse? I’m writing a letter to the Abbot and would prefer not to call it that if there is a legitimate range of options and the substitution was within their scope.
Here’s a good response: Next time, instead of putting actual money in the collection basket, have some children draw pictures of money and put them in the collection.
If you are going to do anything about this you also need to send proofs, concrete evidence that what happened actually happened the way you say. An example of a proof is a photo, video, bulletin description, other eye-witness accounts, etc.
That said, the abbot was more than likely in on the planning. If not… well … you can always try. Save copies of your correspondence.
Otherwise you can contact the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome with copies of all your correspondence and your proofs.
You don’t need to instruct the Congregation, or probably the abbot, about what was supposed to be done. They already know. Simply put, the Passion is to be proclaimed, not presented.
In the Directory for Masses With Children (lamentably still in effect), we read:
41. Since readings taken from holy Scripture “form the main part of the liturgy of the word,”  even in Masses celebrated with children biblical reading should never be omitted.
43. If all the readings assigned to the day seem to be unsuited to the capacity of the children, it is permissible to choose readings or a reading either from the Lectionary of the Roman Missal or directly from the Bible, but taking into account the liturgical seasons. It is recommended, moreover, that the individual conferences of bishops see to the composition of lectionaries for Masses with children. If, because of the limited capabilities of the children, it seems necessary to omit one or other verse of biblical reading, this should be done cautiously and in such a way “that the meaning of the text or the intent and, as it were, style of the Scriptures are not distorted.”
and even :
47. When the text of the readings lends itself to this, it may be helpful to have the children read it with parts distributed among them, as is provided for the reading of the Lord’s passion during Holy Week.
None of these call for the wholesale abandonment of the Gospel.
I note also with interest the involvement of children at a Benedictine monastery. Why would a Benedictine monastery have a Mass for children? Are the children “members” of the monastic community in some fashion?