“The term ‘pasch’ (pascha, i.e. Easter Day) is not Greek but Hebrew, and it derives not from ‘suffering’ –for πᾴσχεἰὑ in Greek means “suffer” – but from the Hebrew word pasch, meaning “passover” (transitus), because at that time the people of God passed over (transire, ppl. transitus) out of Egypt. Whence the Gospel (John 13:1) says, “Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out (transire) of this world to the Father.”
Easter Eve is held as a continuous vigil because of the coming of our king and God, so that the time of his resurrection might find us not sleeping but vigilant. The reason for this night’s vigil is twofold: it is because on that night he then received life, although he suffered death, or because at the same hour at which he was resurrected he will afterwards come for the Judgement.
Moreover we celebrate Easter Day in that manner not only to call to mind the death and resurrection of Christ, but also to ponder the other things that are attested concerning him, with regard to the meaning of the sacraments. 14. This is for the sake of the beginning of a new life and for the sake of the new person whom we are commanded to put on, taking off the old, purging out “the old leaven” that we may be “a new dough . . . for Christ our pasch is sacrificed” (I Corinthians 5:7).”
Isidore, bishop of Seville (c. 560–636) : ‘Etymologies’: Book V. xvii (11 – 13). (c 615 – 630)
The illustration is the painting of Saint Isidore by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (c1655) on display in the Cathedral of Sevilla, Spain.