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I've seen different shuls do different methods of saying Mi Shebreach for the ill. Methods I have seen:

  • Chazzan (or gabbai) says the intro aloud; people line up and give him the name and he says them aloud
  • Same as above except that he reads off a printed list or a stack of cards / notes rather than people lining up. Those who are in the cong. who did not have their name submitted don't line up to announce the name, but say the name to themselves, silently.
  • Chazzan says the intro then pauses. He will read names from the list silently and others who have not submitted names will say their names silently. Then, he concludes the end of the blessing aloud

I've also seen some cong. say separate prayers for males and females while others place them together. Does this matter? Is there a preferred method?

I am curious if there is any specific protocol mentioned in Shulchan Aruch or elsewhere. Or, is any method fine?

  • My weekday minyan does 2 followed by 1 -- the chazzan reads the printed list and then people have a chance to add to it out loud. (People don't line up somewhere; they just call out the names from their seats as the chazzan scans the room.) – Monica Cellio Jan 24 '18 at 15:22
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    BTW: The halacha is that on Shabbat one may not pray for a person unless he deathly ill. I.e. that one would be allowed to transgress Shabbat for them. That would shrink a lot of lists. – Danny Schoemann Jan 24 '18 at 15:37
  • Hi @DannySchoemann. Can you provide a source for that? AFAIK, few shuls are following that halacha. As a matter of fact, the prayer includes a phrase added on Shabbat Shabbat hi miliz'ok.. – DanF Jan 24 '18 at 16:22
  • @DannySchoemann deoraisas or derabbanans? – Heshy Jan 24 '18 at 17:13
  • @DanF Indeed few shuls follow the halakha (probably because some people just show up to pray for sick people; sad). The phrase Refuah Kerova Lavo is not an addition to the regular prayer but a replacement prayer. On Shabbat we can't pray directly "Please heal these people" unless there's risk of life but rather we pray obliquely "healing comes soon". Sticking an oblique prayer in after saying the direct prayer anyway (as some Siddurim do) doesn't make any sense. – Double AA Jan 24 '18 at 17:21

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