What does it mean for the priest to venerate the altar?

To venerate means "respect"... At the entrance of Mass, the priest bows to the ALTAR, genuflects to the Blessed Sacrament (different forms - respect vs. adoration) ascends the steps of the altar, places both hands on the altar, bends to kiss the altar, rises... begins Mass. Should a deacon assist... at the entrance the deacon bows/genuflects... kisses the altar, but does not place his hands upon the altar.